Hunter Water delivers services under an Operating Licence granted by the NSW Government. The Operating Licence sets out conditions relating to:
- Water conservation
- Supply services and performance standards
- Rights for customers and consumers experiencing payment difficulties
- Customer complaint and dispute handling
- Stakeholder relations
- Environmental management
- Quality assurance
- Asset management, and
- Performance monitoring and auditing.
Hunter Water's current Operating Licence came into operation on 1 July 2017 and expires on 30 June 2022.
This licence was issued after a comprehensive public review of the previous licence, which was in force from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2017. The review was carried out by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). View a copy of the review report on IPART's website.
Each year, an independent audit of Hunter Water's operations is conducted to assess our compliance with the Operating Licence. The audit assess our performance in meeting the service standards and other conditions of the Licence.
IPART is also responsible for the annual operational audit and periodic reviews of our Operating Licence.
The Office Environment and Heritage (OEH) issues licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 for Hunter Water's wastewater pipe network, pumping stations and treatment systems.
The licences stipulate both quality and quantity conditions for discharge from each wastewater treatment works and are reviewed every three years under the legislation.
The licences also specify operational controls and performance reporting for the wastewater pipe network and pumping stations.
Access to Water
Hunter Water extracts water from the Williams, Paterson and Allyn Rivers as well as groundwater sources under stringent conditions set out in licences issued by the NSW Office of Water (NOW) under the Water Act 1912 and Water Management Act 2000. NOW can direct Hunter Water to carry out remedial work should water extraction activities be determined by NOW to have caused any adverse environmental impacts. Penalties of up to $500,000 can be imposed for failing to comply with remedial directions or licence conditions.