Delivering the future | 2023 - 2028 Price Submission

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Our customers have helped shape our next five year promise as we strive to deliver the future our community wants


Customer engagement now closed

Barwon Water’s priority is to strengthen the economic, social, cultural and environmental prosperity of its region through the delivery of sustainable, affordable, innovative and reliable water and sewerage services.

Our survey on our has now closed. Thank you to all our customers who shared their feedback on our draft 2023 Price Submission.

We are in the process of analysing your feedback. We will publish the survey report when it is available later in August / September 2022.

Learn more about our draft Price Submission and our proposed projects, services and prices you will pay in return.



Read the draft 2023 Price Submission here


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In developing the proposed customer promise, prices and services, we have considered customer affordability, operating costs, new infrastructure requirements, current and future challenges, service levels and feedback gathered from customers over the past five years.

We know our customers want high quality services at affordable prices and we are fully committed to keeping prices stable, supporting our customers who need it the most and making investments for the future.

You can also take a look at what others in our region have been saying that’s helped shape this draft.

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Highlights from the draft

In the 2018-23 Price Submission, $2.5 million was allocated to programs that help customers in need, while the next price promise boosts this commitment to supporting customers to $4.8 million.

Anyone who needs help to manage their water bill receives assistance from us noting that anyone can experience financial stress at any time.

Financial difficulties can affect anybody and we urge our customers to reach out for assistance rather than dealing with the stress on their own. Our empathetic support team is here to assist and have a respectful, completely confidential conversation about our wide range of customer support options.

In addition to the $4.8 million to support customers, other key highlights include:

  • Average residential homeowners and business customer bills will not increase, other than annual adjustments made in relation to Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • $209 million to repair and replace ageing infrastructure
  • $164 million for new and upgraded infrastructure to cater for regional growth and deliver safe, secure, sustainable water
  • $36 million for upgrade to existing and new recycled water infrastructure to support greater use of this resource
  • $15 million in digital metering and smart networks
  • $7 million to improve catchment and waterway health
  • $6 million in renewable electricity and emission reduction projects
  • Pursuing improvement initiatives such as our Regional Renewable Organics Network, which will help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and create clean renewable energy
  • Unlocking recreational, social and environmental opportunities through our Bellarine Basin and Porronggitj Karrong projects

Our customers have helped shape our next five year promise as we strive to deliver the future our community wants


Customer engagement now closed

Barwon Water’s priority is to strengthen the economic, social, cultural and environmental prosperity of its region through the delivery of sustainable, affordable, innovative and reliable water and sewerage services.

Our survey on our has now closed. Thank you to all our customers who shared their feedback on our draft 2023 Price Submission.

We are in the process of analysing your feedback. We will publish the survey report when it is available later in August / September 2022.

Learn more about our draft Price Submission and our proposed projects, services and prices you will pay in return.



Read the draft 2023 Price Submission here


Icon of a thumbs up with a speech bubble

In developing the proposed customer promise, prices and services, we have considered customer affordability, operating costs, new infrastructure requirements, current and future challenges, service levels and feedback gathered from customers over the past five years.

We know our customers want high quality services at affordable prices and we are fully committed to keeping prices stable, supporting our customers who need it the most and making investments for the future.

You can also take a look at what others in our region have been saying that’s helped shape this draft.

Icon of a star - highlights

Highlights from the draft

In the 2018-23 Price Submission, $2.5 million was allocated to programs that help customers in need, while the next price promise boosts this commitment to supporting customers to $4.8 million.

Anyone who needs help to manage their water bill receives assistance from us noting that anyone can experience financial stress at any time.

Financial difficulties can affect anybody and we urge our customers to reach out for assistance rather than dealing with the stress on their own. Our empathetic support team is here to assist and have a respectful, completely confidential conversation about our wide range of customer support options.

In addition to the $4.8 million to support customers, other key highlights include:

  • Average residential homeowners and business customer bills will not increase, other than annual adjustments made in relation to Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • $209 million to repair and replace ageing infrastructure
  • $164 million for new and upgraded infrastructure to cater for regional growth and deliver safe, secure, sustainable water
  • $36 million for upgrade to existing and new recycled water infrastructure to support greater use of this resource
  • $15 million in digital metering and smart networks
  • $7 million to improve catchment and waterway health
  • $6 million in renewable electricity and emission reduction projects
  • Pursuing improvement initiatives such as our Regional Renewable Organics Network, which will help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and create clean renewable energy
  • Unlocking recreational, social and environmental opportunities through our Bellarine Basin and Porronggitj Karrong projects
  • Barwon Water price plan seeks to keep bills steady in coming years

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    Latest news

    1 July, 2022

    Barwon Water price plan seeks to keep bills steady in coming years

    Barwon Water’s prices will remain some of the lowest in Australia for similar sized water corporations for the next six years, with annual adjustments only made in relation to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Barwon Water will keep price adjustments to less than CPI this year. The adjustments are in line with its commitment to customers in its 2018-23 Price Submission, which was approved by the Victorian Essential Services Commission.

    Barwon Water’s work to keep customer bills affordable, while at the same time investing in critical water and sewerage infrastructure and initiatives to use more recycled water, reduce energy costs and help customers save water will again be on display over the next six years.

    Read the latest news here.

  • Learn more about our engagement journey

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    Building on our foundational engagement over the past five years, customers have been able to provide their feedback on our next five year customer promise via webinars, focus groups, online surveys and – when health restrictions permitted – in person at community pop-ups.

    Image of a funnel outlining Phase 1: foundational engagement and includes Voice of Customer, Customer perception surveys, customer and CX support strategy, Customer and Environmental Advisory Committees and projects. This funnel leads into Phase 2: Initial engagement, Phase 3: Targeted and board customer engagement, Phase 4: Price submission development and check-in and Phase 5: Closing the loop

    All Victorian water corporations, including Barwon Water, are required to develop and submit price submissions which are usually every five years. It outlines the prices customers pay for water and sewerage, services, and infrastructure and operational investments over a five-year period (the next period being 2023 – 2028).

    Snapshot of our engagement

    Image of lots of statistics from each engagement phase that highlights number of people involved at various stages of the project.

  • Our drivers - understanding our background

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    Our region is facing major challenges and opportunities, such as:

    • a hotter and drier climate;
    • a growing population and equity divides;
    • rapid technological development, and;
    • the need to reduce our significant greenhouse gas emissions.

    Through our ongoing engagement with our customers over the past five years, we have heard – loudly and clearly – that our customers want us to help address these challenges in partnership with them, so that we can protect and enhance all that makes our region great.

    We've been hearing our customers want high quality services at affordable prices and we are fully committed to keeping prices stable, supporting our customers who need it the most and making investments for the future.

    Your feedback is helping inform our next year five promise to our customers – the services that we will deliver to support the community, environment and regional prosperity and the prices that customers will pay in return.

  • Watch our webinar - understanding the Price Submission

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    A short information session to learn more about our prices, our upcoming price submission for 2023-2028 and how you can have your say.

    Watch online here:


  • Water You Know!

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    Who knows where their water comes from?

    We’re taking a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to have access to safe, clean drinking water when approximately 2 billion people across the world do not.

    Managing Director Tracey Slatter said it was easy to take water for granted, particularly when storage levels are healthy and accessing water is as simple as turning on a tap. However, despite the good storage levels, we face challenges in our region to ensure that our supplies remain secure for present and future generations.

    Population growth and the impacts of climate change mean that we need to be careful with the water we have, understand where it comes from and look for opportunities to save water in our daily activities.

    “That’s why we’re launching a new webpage that aims to help build our community’s water literacy,” Ms Slatter said.

    “The ‘Water You Know’ program is a direct response to feedback we’ve received from customers and our community over the past few years calling for a greater focus on education and awareness about our water supplies.

    “We use water dozens of times a day – from the moment we get up and make our morning cuppa to bathing the kids at night, watering the veggies and everything in between. It’s essential for public health, the economy, culture and recreation… there are very few everyday activities that don’t have a link to water in some way.”

    Do we give much thought to where that water comes from though or how it gets to our taps?

    Water You Know resources provide helpful information on the sources of our water, how it gets to our taps and where it goes after we use it.

    “We’re fortunate to have safe, secure water supplies and sewerage services, unlike many countries around the world. On World Water Day, we hope our region’s community will reflect on the importance of water in their lives and visit the Water You Know information on our website to learn more about this precious resource which is an essential building block for all life on earth.”

    "Visit the Water You Know site today!"


  • What makes up your bill? - Listen

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    We chatted to Milly at bay 93.9 Geelong on the charges that make up your bill, and how you can have your say on future prices.

    You can listen to the recording here:


  • ​What we will deliver - our customer promise

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    supporting image

    The core of our promise to customers is reflected in the outcomes that we pledge to deliver.

    Back in 2017, we developed an ambitious strategy to enable regional prosperity through the provision of high quality, affordable, secure water services and outstanding customer and community value.

    We also made a five year promise to our customers about the actions we would undertake, the outcomes we would deliver and the prices we would charge until 2023, as we worked to implement our ambitious strategy.

    Genuine community collaboration and engagement has been a hallmark of our approach to upholding our customer promise over the past five years. We know that, whilst we can design solutions to the challenges we face on our own, we get better outcomes when we work in partnership with our customers and community.

    Based on all we have heard from our customers and community over the past five years, we propose to deliver these outcomes in our next five year customer promise:

    Outcome 1 - Safe, secure, sustainable water

    We're committed to ...

    • Providing a secure, sustainable water future

    What this means ...

    • As we face a hotter drier climate, we will support our growing region to be prosperous and sustainable, by securing enough water for all of our needs. We will strengthen water efficiency and gradually shift to climate resilient water sources.

    Outcome 2 - Innovative, reliable services

    We're committed to ...

    • Continually improving our services and community experience

    What this means ...

    • By listening to our customers and community, being forward thinking and technologically advanced we will be innovative, continually improving, inclusive, caring and easy to deal with.

    Outcome 3 - Healthier environment

    We're committed to ...

    • Protecting and enhancing our natural environment

    What this means ...

    • We will apply a caring for country approach to our land and waterways in partnerships with our Traditional Owners, other agencies and community members. We will strive for zero emissions and generate useful products from what we used to call “waste”.

    Outcome 4 - Trust, affordability and value

    We're committed to ...

    • Delivering value to our community and supporting our customers' needs

    What this means ...

    • We will seek to understand the diverse needs and values of our customers and community and aim to be a valued and trusted leader; contributing positively to our region. We will actively support customers, keep bills affordable and resolve issues fairly.
  • Survey updates - Feb 2022

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    Throughout December 2021 and January 2022, customers had their say on the things that matter most to them when it comes to water and sewerage services.

    We're now reviewing the short survey results and will have a more detailed survey coming soon to help us shape our next five-year promise (2023 Price Submission) to our customers and community.

    Customers can complete the detailed survey and go in the draw to win $50 off your next water bill. Register for updates to stay informed throughout the process, survey will be live in February 2022.

    Have a question? Ask away in our Q&A section, or give us a call on 1300 656 007.

  • Shaping our 5-year promise to customers

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    11 Nov 2021

    Our commitment to affordable bills, water security and improving the environment was on display yesterday, as we launched community and customer engagement on our next five-year pricing plan.

    More than 30 of the region’s top community, government, environment and business leaders met yesterday to help us shape our next 5-year promise to deliver services that support the community, environment and regional prosperity.

    Managing Director Tracey Slatter said she was looking forward to continuing the genuine community collaboration and engagement that has been a hallmark of the water corporation’s approach over the past five years.

    “We value engaging with and hearing from our customers because we know that, while we can design solutions to the challenges we face on our own, we get better outcomes when we work in partnership with our customers and community.”

    The regional leaders forum has become an important annual event, with leaders joining Barwon Water in December 2019 and 2020, to help inform its strategic response to the big opportunities and challenges the region faces such as a climate which is getting drier and warmer on average, a growing population, rapid technological development and the need to reduce our significant emissions.

    Yesterday’s event is to be followed by a broader engagement program that will start later this month and provide customers the chance to have their say on our proposed services and prices over the next 5 years via webinars, focus groups, online surveys and – health restrictions permitting – in-person community pop-ups.

    “Our research and engagement tells us very clearly that our customers and community want more than affordable and reliable water and sewerage services, they also expect Barwon Water to be part of solution to the broader challenges we face and to actively contribute to making our region even more prosperous – economically, environmentally and culturally,” Ms Slatter said.

    “Through engagement with our community over the past five years, we have heard – loudly and clearly – that our customers want us to help solve these challenges in partnership with them, so that we can protect and enhance all that makes our region great.”

    Ms Slatter said that the challenges identified by the business five years ago are here to stay, and that Barwon Water was proud to be leading the way in addressing these challenges across the region.

    “We have seen a heightened urgency in the need to act on climate change. We’ve gone from one of our driest years in 2019 to one of our wettest years in 2021, with storages at a low of 35% in May 2019 and almost full today.

    “Through our partnerships with major industrial customers and local councils, we’re leveraging our infrastructure and expertise to turn organic waste into renewable energy and biochar (a valuable soil enhancer), helping us to achieve our target of zero net emissions by 2030 while saving energy costs, improving the environment and keeping water bills affordable for customers.”

    “We have also seen the socio-economic divides in our region become even greater due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, driving us to deliver improved customer support programs that proactively help our customers in need.”

    Ms Slatter said the upcoming engagement will give all community members the chance to have a say on the four key outcomes that Barwon Water proposes to deliver:

    1. secure, sustainable water
    2. innovative and reliable services
    3. healthier environment
    4. affordability, trust and value.

    “We need our customers and community to help us find the balance between action and affordability in how we deliver these outcomes,” Ms Slatter said.

    About the price submission process

    All Victorian water corporations, including Barwon Water, are required to develop and submit a price submission every 5 years. It outlines the prices customers pay for water and sewerage, service standards, and infrastructure and operational investments over a 5-year period (the next period being 2023–2028).

    Submissions are reviewed and determined by the Essential Services Commission.

    The Essential Services Commission acts as an independent “umpire”, established by the Victorian Government, to regulate providers of essential services such water, gas and electricity so that their prices are fair and reasonable for consumers.

    Independent economic regulation is especially important for providers of water and sewerage services, like Barwon Water, because customers don’t have a choice about who provides these services to them.

  • The Draft Water for our Future Strategy (our 50-year plan)

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    Our draft Water for Our Future strategy has been informed by our extensive engagement with our community. It proposes adaptive plans to ensure a secure water future for each of the systems in our region, based on what our community has told us is important to them. It provides the next opportunity for you - our customers and community - to provide feedback on these pathways and some of the key decisions we need to make.

    The strategy is our long-term plan and looks to address our customer and community outcome one to deliver a secure, sustainable water that aligns with the communtiy vision (developed by the Water for our Future Community Panel in 2020).

    Have your say
    We're currently seeking your feedback for each of the systems to understand your level of comfort with the 5 year, 50 year and drought response actions proposed. Visit the Water for our Future website to complete the short survey to help us continue to plan for our water future.


    Our water future vision is ...

    A secure future where our rivers flow, our foods grow and our impact is low.

    Resilient, innovative and sustainable, with abundant water from a range of sources and where we actively protect and improve water for the environment.

    Ethical, healthy and responsible, with affordable and equitable access for everyone.

    A shared responsibility, by valuing and conserving water and respecting the diverse needs of our community, cultures and the environment.



Page last updated: 08 Aug 2022, 02:55 PM