WATER users might have to foot the bill for changes to prices that would see the wet stuff cost $242 per megalitre from WaterNSW's Chaffey Dam - compared to $5 for the same drop from the Tamworth council owned and run Dungowan Dam.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released its final decision on charges WaterNSW and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation (WAMC) will levy for bulk water across the state until June 2025.
The changes came into effect on October 1 and will see the cost of water rise by 47 per cent at Barraba and Manilla and 34 per cent in Tamworth.
In April, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) water and waste director Bruce Logan slammed the proposed charges as "outrageous" and said no government-owned corporation should be able to increase prices at these levels in a single year.
"There is limited capacity for consumers to just keep paying more and more for the same commodity," he said.
The council argued 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.
As a result, the council will need to decide whether to pass on the increases in charges to its customers - residents and businesses - as part of its budget talks for 2022 to 2023.
The council will decide at its meeting on Tuesday whether to cover the additional financial burden for this financial year from the water reserve.
The total fixed and usage price hike for residents in Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal would be about $12.67.
Smaller towns in the region that don't take water from a regulated river have come out of the pricing changes relatively unscathed, some even better off.
The communities in Nundle and Attunga will see a six per cent decrease in their bulk water charges, while Bendemeer residents will pay 27 per cent less.
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