What exactly do our members do?
While our members are owned by the Victorian Government, they are governed by independent boards, with each water corporation responsible for their own management and performance.
Under the Water Act 1989 water corporations across Victoria are responsible for:
- water supply services
- wastewater services
- waterway management
- regional drainage
- floodplain management
- trade waste and related services
- salinity mitigation services
- recreational area management
- asset management
- dam safety management
- water storage management
- water metering
- emergency management
In undertaking their activities, our members are also guided by the high-level policy and strategic planning undertaken by the Government. The current Water for Victoria policy framework sets out the Government’s long-term strategy for managing water resources to address the pressures of climate change and population growth.
Under the Water Industry Act 1994, the Minister for Water issues Statements of Obligations (SoOs) to our members that specify obligations relating to their performance of their functions and the exercise of their powers. These obligations are taken into consideration in the review of water prices by the economic regulator, the ESC. Currently, there are three SoOs applicable to our members:
- Statement of Obligations (General).
This applies to all water corporations with obligations in relation to pricing submissions, board performance, customer and community engagement, planning, water services, and compliance.
- Statement of Obligations (Emissions Reduction).
This applies to all water corporations in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Statement of Obligations (Systems Management).
This applies only to the metropolitan water corporations and provides operating rules for the augmented Melbourne Water supply system.
In addition, the Minister for Water has issued Letters of Expectations that require each water corporation to focus on seven priority policy areas and to monitor and report on these against the performance targets in their annual reporting.
Urban water corporations in Victoria are also subject to health regulation by the DH, environmental regulation by the EPA and economic regulation by the ESC.
Figure 1 below outlines the governance of our sector. For more information on specific functions and responsibilities of our members, see Part 3 of the Guide to Governing in the Water Sector (DELWP).