Water Journal : Water Journal September 2014
14 Industry News water SEPTEMBER 2014 PERTH GROUNDWATER REPLENISHMENT PLANS DOUBLED The contract for the construction of Western Australia’s first full-scale groundwater replenishment plant has been signed, heralding a new era in the management of Perth’s drinking water supply. Speaking at AWA’s annual Western Australian lunch in Perth recently, WA Water Minister Mia Davies said the Advanced Water Recycling Plant (AWRP) would be built with double the treatment capacity of what was originally envisaged for stage one. “It was originally planned that stage one of the plant would have a capacity of seven gigalitres per year, which would then be expanded to 14GL and 28GL over several years as demand increased,” Ms Davies said. “However, due to a comprehensive and competitive tendering process and strong competition for the contract, the State Government has been able to effectively get the first two planned stages built for less than the price of one, saving $24million in the process. “It’s an excellent outcome for the State and will get our new climate-independent water source up and running at a higher capacity sooner than expected.” The Minister said the winning contractor, the CHT JV Alliance (formed by Thiess and CH2M Hill Australia), would be responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the full-scale AWRP. It will be built on the same site as the current Groundwater Replenishment Trial site in Craigie. The total estimated cost of construction of the 14GL plant is $124.6 million, with construction due to begin in late August and commissioning to start by October 2016. WSAA RELEASES FLAGSHIP ECONOMIC REGULATION REPORT Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has published its flagship report for 2014, Improving Economic Regulation of Urban Water. The Report is a comprehensive assessment of best practice economic regulation in the urban water sector and draws on experience from water and other industries, both here and overseas. “We need more independent, consistent and transparent regulation to minimise future price increases and provide greater incentives for productivity and efficiency,” said Adam Lovell, WSAA Executive Director. “Current regulation is not sufficiently focused on meeting the long- term interest of customers. We need stability for water businesses to be financially resilient to future climate, growth and renewal challenges and to provide the certainty needed for greater private sector investment.” The Report identifies significant gaps in the regulatory frameworks across Australia compared to best practice and recommends actions that are in the long-term interest of customers. Coming from their own perspectives, consumer and private infrastructure representatives also support the Report. Jo Benvenuti, Executive Officer at the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC), welcomes its release, saying: “This Report acknowledges the central role of consumers in designing the pricing and service reliability of this most essential of all services. We agree that an effective regulatory framework is important to consumers, who rely on fair water prices within the context of monopoly businesses.” Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA), also endorsed the Report. “This Report brings an unabashed focus to getting the right regulation in place to drive efficient water prices, and to get water ready for meaningful microeconomic reform,” he said. “Asset recycling is a uniting focus for Australia’s governments, because it’s the single opportunity to fund major expansions of Australia’s transport and social infrastructure.” WSAA considers that states acting alone is not enough and is calling for a national urban water agreement through the Council of Australian Governments. “Clear minimum and agreed standards backed by rewards and sanctions to be met by all jurisdictions are required regardless of the future reform path for the urban water industry,” said Mr Lovell. The Report identifies the priorities for reform of economic regulation including: From left: WSAA Executive Director, Adam Lovell, WSAA Chair, Louise Dudley, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Senator Simon Birmingham. From left: WSAA Executive Director, Adam Lovell; WSAA Chair, Louise Dudley; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Senator Simon Birmingham, Executive Officer Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC); Jo Benvenuti, and Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs Jonathan Kennedy, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
Water Journal November 2014
Water Journal August 2014