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Australians are now saving on water costs

The cost of residential water bills in Australia has fallen for the first time in five years, according to the annual National Performance Report for urban utilities.

The report has revealed that the median cost of annual residential water bills in 2017 was down by $32 from the previous year, with the data comparing the performance of 84 water utilities providing urban water services around Australia.

Water Services Association of Australia Executive Director Adam Lovell said the reduction in water bills was “great news” for consumers.

"About 60% of water utilities reported a decrease in their typical residential bills in 2016–17," he said.

"The reduction is a result of efforts by water utilities to drive greater efficiencies, as shown in the 5% reduction in operating costs when compared to the previous year. Australian water utilities continue to seek opportunities for innovation and efficiencies to improve benefits to customers."

The report also highlighted significant water savings and water security planning, including a 17% reduction in the amount of water supplied to residential customers in South Australia, and Western Australia’s Water Corporation returning 8531 ML to surface water storages.

Bureau of Meteorology General Manager Water Dr Robert Argent said intelligent management of water sources helps to ensure water security in the country’s variable climate.

"Reducing our reliance on surface water is crucial to Australia's water security into the future," he said.

"The outcomes in Western Australia are an indication of our growing ability to source water from non-traditional methods, something that will be critical to Australia's water security moving forward."

The report was prepared by the Bureau, the Water Services Association of Australia, and State and Territory governments and can be accessed from here.

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