Average water bill in sydney

Average Water Bills In Sydney

man conserving water by switching off a running water tap

Sydney residents typically keep a close eye on their water usage to conserve natural resources and manage household expenses. Most bills arrive quarterly, containing pages of information that break down the costs associated with water consumption and service accessibility. While you might put the details aside and simply pay your bill, taking the time to understand the costs has a lot of value, as it can tell you a lot more than just how much water was used.

A typical water bill in Sydney includes fixed charges for service connection, wastewater, and stormwater networks, the volume of water consumed and the usage charges based on household use.

The average water bill in Sydney is influenced by factors like household size, gardens and pools, water-saving practices, and the pricing structures set by Sydney Water, the primary water provider in the region.

Water prices in Sydney are, on average, around $200 per quarter. This cost underscores the importance for residents to be mindful of their water usage and the associated charges, not only for financial reasons, but also for water conservation.

Research conducted in January 2023 shows quarterly water prices by state as outlined in the table below.

State Average quarterly water bill 2023
Australia Wide $208
QLD $240
WA $204
SA $205
NSW $200
VIC $191

Data taken from: Canstar Blue research, January 2023

The average costs take into account the cost of water as well as water delivery and service charges such as sewerage, stormwater and connection fees.

Households can potentially reduce their water costs by implementing water-saving techniques to lower consumption and help support the environment. For individual units and larger residential establishments, the key to managing water expenses comes from understanding water consumption patterns and finding ways to limit unnecessary use.

Average water bill in sydney

Components of a Sydney Water Bill

A Sydney Water bill typically contains several key components. These charges are structured to cover the costs of delivering clean water, maintaining the water infrastructure, and processing wastewater.

  • Service Charges
  • Usage Charges
  • Other Charges

Service Charges

Service charges are fixed charges applied to all properties connected to the water network even if no water was used at the property during the billing period. It covers maintenance of the water, sewerage, and stormwater systems.

Fixed charges are calculated using a daily rate and adjusted based on the number of days in the quarter.

Usage Charges

Almost all properties in Sydney have a water meter where usage charges are billed based on the volume of water used between meter readings, with charges incurred per kilolitre (kL).

Usage Charges for Water Rate per kilolitre 2023-24
Drinking Water $2.67
Drinking Water (if dam levels dip below 60%, remaining until dam levels exceed 70%) $3.61

The usage charge is the only one that can be strongly influenced by customers as the rest of the bill is made up of fixed charges.

Fixed Service Charges Charge per Quarter 2023-24
Water Service Connection $17.83
Water Service Connection (unmetered properties) $138.97 (+ if dam levels drop)
Wastewater Service $155.46
Stormwater Service (for a unit or a low-impact property) $7.09
Stormwater Service (for a house) $22.17
Recycled Water Service (Sydney Olympic Park) $4.46 each quarter
(Only for those connected to the recycled water service)

Other Charges

Occasional charges for additional services or penalties might also form part of a water bill.

Understanding these components can reveal patterns surrounding your water use that can help you conserve water and lower your total bill.

man reviewing his Sydn ey Water Bill

Average Cost of Water for Residents in Sydney

When it comes to water price averages, Sydney water bills align closely with broader state averages across NSW, with quarterly water bills for New South Wales hovering around $200 according to Canstar Blue surveys in January 2023. This puts Sydney very close to the overall Australian average of $208.

When assessing average water use in 2023, there are some interesting patterns across different demographics. Not surprisingly larger households consume more water. For example, a single-person household might pay around $158 per quarter, while a home with five or more residents could pay up to $276.

Water bills tend to decrease as the age of the billpayer increases. Aged 60 and over, the average bill could be as low as $156, reflecting changes in usage patterns as well as available rebates.

Table showing different ages and the influence on average water bills. Canstar Blue.

Years of age Average Quarterly Water Bill
18 to 29 $207
30 to 39 $219
40 to 49 $227
50 to 59 $192
60 to 69 $191
70+ $156

Income also has an impact with households earning less than $30,000 per year having an average bill around $168, while those earning more than $120,000 can face bills around $233, likely reflecting differences in property size and lifestyle.

Factors Affecting the Price of Water in Sydney

The price residents pay for water in Sydney is influenced by a series of external factors from resource management to governmental regulations. In times of water stress, such as drought, high demand or poor water quality, additional levies may be introduced to help keep supply in line with natural resource availability.

Resource Management

Water consumption in Greater Sydney is heavily influenced by dam levels and the availability of water resources.

An average family home can see big differences in their water bills if they do not make adjustments to reduce water use during drought conditions. For example:

  • Without drought conditions: $1,061 yearly
  • With drought charge: $1,228 yearly

Infrastructure and Projects

The quality of water and its consistent delivery are maintained through ongoing infrastructure projects and investments, including:

  • Pipeline upgrades
  • Treatment plants
  • Developing new water sources

New water sources like desalination plants are necessary for ensuring the resilience of Sydney’s water supply. The cost associated with these projects is factored into the water pricing structure.

Government Regulations

Government regulations are set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). They conduct regular reviews, considering factors such as operation, maintenance, and infrastructure investment needs.

IPART plays a pivotal role in recommending prices that cover costs as well as provide signals to consumers about the value and scarcity of water resources.

How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

Managing water expenses is important to keep living costs under control and ensure enough clean drinking water is available for everyone. There are a number of practical steps that homeowners can take to limit water waste.

Water Saving Tips

As well as installing efficient fixtures, households can be mindful of water usage. Small actions like turning off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving, only running dishwashers and washing machines when full and using a plug when washing dishes by hand can make a significant difference.

  • Install Water-Efficient Fixtures: Replace older shower heads with water-efficient models, run appliances on eco mode and look for high-star water-saving stickers when buying new appliances.
  • Utilise Rainwater Tanks: If possible, install a rainwater tank to cut down on the use of mains water for garden and some household use.
  • Follow Water Wise Guidelines: Local authorities provide guidelines for effective water consumption, especially during drought conditions.

Detecting Leaks and Regular Maintenance

Even a slow drip can cause hundreds of litres of water to be wasted. Homeowners should regularly check for leaks at taps, pipes, and appliance connections. If you don’t feel confident doing plumbing repairs yourself, contact a qualified plumber in your local area for help.

  • Schedule Maintenance: Keep water fixtures and appliances in good working order; a regular maintenance schedule can help catch issues before they become big problems.
  • Read the Meter: Regular meter readings can help detect unusual increases in water use, which might indicate a leak. Keeping track of average daily usage through the water meter can also help in understanding and managing consumption.
  • Understand Charges: Being aware of the usage price charged per kilolitre can motivate a more conscious use of water. When dam levels drop below 60%, prices may rise, thus conserving water becomes even more financially beneficial.

Using these strategies, residents can make a notable difference in their water bills while contributing positively to the water cycle and reducing the strain on desalination processes.


Water costs in Sydney reflect a range of charges, including fixed service fees and usage rates. Households encounter both predictable and variable components on their water bills.

Responsible consumption and efficient usage can help reduce the impact of water bills, making this a shared priority for both consumers and water providers. While individual bills may vary, these averages and factors provide a clear picture of water costs within Sydney allowing consumers to take some control in how their home water use is managed and prioritised.