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Regulatory and assurance framework

The department's regulatory objectives

The department is responsible for overseeing local water utilities’ delivery of safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable services and management of water service risks.

Role of the department

The department is responsible for overseeing local water utilities in their delivery of safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable services and management of water service risks. To achieve this, the department:

  • sets policy
  • regulates, and makes regulatory decisions
  • provides oversight and assurance
  • monitors and reports on performance.

The department’s regulatory and assurance roles seek to ensure utilities are managing key areas of risk for:

  • water security (including continuity of service)
  • water quality
  • the environment
  • assets and infrastructure
  • customers (including water supply and pricing)
  • financial sustainability of the utility.

Overarching regulatory and assurance objectives

In ensuring local water utilities manage risks, the department’s overarching regulatory and assurance objectives are:

  • driving the supply of safe and secure water and sewerage services
  • supporting the protection of public health
  • supporting the protection of the environment
  • promoting the principles of Integrated Water Cycle Management to support sustainability and liveability
  • promoting resilient infrastructure and fostering innovation
  • promoting meaningful engagement with communities so that local water utility decisions meet their needs
  • protecting the interests of current and future customers and the community.

The department achieves these regulatory and assurance objectives by expecting and enabling local water utilities to:

  • conduct effective, evidence-based strategic planning for water supply and sewerage services that applies the principles of adaptive planning and integrated water cycle management, and considers climate risks
  • identify and manage risks in strategic and effective ways
  • implement robust and effective operational risk management, including effective and safe operation and maintenance of systems and robust emergency and incident management
  • make fit-for-purpose infrastructure investments
  • implement robust and effective processes to monitor performance
  • protect and promote the interests of customers through efficient and affordable pricing
  • be financially sustainable and manage finances prudently.

Regulatory and assurance framework

The regulatory and assurance framework is designed to make sure that local water utilities manage risks effectively and strategically. It applies to local water utilities in regional NSW.

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