TAMWORTH Regional Council (TRC) has slammed an increase in charges WaterNSW has submitted to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) as "outrageous".
A submission to IPART has been drafted by TRC water and waste director Bruce Logan and councillors will vote whether to approve or oppose it on Tuesday.
"No government-owned corporation should be able to increase charges by these levels in a single year," he said.
"There is limited capacity for consumers to just keep paying more and more for the same commodity."
While WaterNSW and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation have both proposed changes to bulk water fees until 2025, IPART will make the ultimate decision.
Under the draft determination, the council argues the cost of water from Dungowan Dam, which it owns, will be $5.25 per megalitre, while the state-owned Chaffey Dam will be $253.55 per megalitre.
The council argues that under the draft determination the cost of raw water in the Peel for high security license holders would be almost double the next highest priced valley in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Mr Logan said the council continues to struggle with the "huge inequity" in pricing across the state.
"Council strongly believes the cost of raw water should not be a financial burden for the people of Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal and Peel Valley irrigators," he said.
"It certainly isn't a burden for consumers in the Murrumbidgee where the cost for the same volume of high security water would be 10 times less than the Peel."
The council argues that if the increase is approved by IPART, the fixed and usage residential charge for water will increase by $14.84.
A WaterNSW spokesman said the costs have been influenced by several factors, including increases in environmental expenditure, asset maintenance costs and technology upgrades.
"Despite IPART not making a draft determination now, it should be noted that the IPART prudency and efficiency consultant report found many areas of our submission reasonable," he said.
"Similarly WaterNSW supports IPART's observation that 'additional investment in key areas is necessary'; and 'as efficient costs of providing WAMC services are increasing, water users will need to make a contribution to efficient costs through higher prices'."
Water charges are reviewed by IPART usually on a four-year basis and if approved the council will start to pay the increased price from July.
WaterNSW levies charges only on water sourced from regulated rivers.
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