Central Coast residents are being asked to help plan the region’s long-term water security and how water prices are charged.
Over the next few months, Central Coast Council will continue to progress two important projects:
the Integrated Water Resource Plan, which will select the best options to secure the Coast’s water supply for future generations.
our submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) which, determines how much Council can charge customers for water.
By registering their interest, residents will have the opportunity to contribute to both projects by participating in public forums, online surveys and phone interviews.
Council’s Director Water and Sewer, Jamie Loader said the two projects encompass the spectrum of delivering water and sewer services now and into the future.
“The Integrated Water Resource Plan is about securing our ongoing water supply for a growing population, regardless of whether we might be experiencing periods of intense rainfall or prolonged drought,” Mr Loader said.
“There have been significant changes in environmental factors, water infrastructure, the operating environment and knowledge since we last planned for our region’s long-term water security, 13 years ago. Those changes, combined with the recent review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan by our neighbouring region, mean it is important to review our long-term water plans.
“In addition, every three to five years IPART also asks us to consult with the community about the way we deliver water and sewer to their homes and businesses, which services are most important to them and review the cost of delivering those services.
“Our submission will include this community feedback, and later next year, IPART will determine how our water services should be priced.”
Residents can have their say from December to March in the following ways:
Virtual community forums – forums will be held with groups of residents who explore and discuss different options for our long-term water supply. All residents can express an interest in being part of the forums and participants will be chosen so the diversity of the Central Coast community is represented
Online surveys – residents can participate in community surveys on water pricing and a shortlist of options for long-term water security
Phone interviews – in-depth interviews and surveys with people who may find it difficult to participate in an online format.
Council’s Administrator Dick Persson AM, encouraged community members to get involved in planning the region’s water future.
“Our water supply system is the third largest in the state and presently serves a population of 340,000 people,” Mr Persson said.
“As our region continues to grow and develop, this planning process will ensure there is plenty of water for future generations.”