In November 2009 the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement for the draft National Water Initiative pricing principles (the draft principles). The objectives of the draft principles are to assist jurisdictions to achieve consistency in water charges and provide a best-practice road map for water pricing methodologies. They focus on four areas: recovering capital expenditure, setting urban water tariffs, recovering the costs of water planning and management and recycled water and stormwater reuse. In its submission to the Regulation Impact Statement, PIAC expressed concerns that the draft principles do not recognise the right to water nor consider affordability, questioned the implied reliance upon consumer protection mechanisms, and commented on options for urban water use charges.
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