The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA)’s recommendations to reform SA’s water pricing takes an environmentally and socially short-sighted approach to our most precious resource, says the state’s peak environmental organisation.
“ESCOSA’s recommendations are based on economic efficiency at the expense of water conservation and social fairness,” said Conservation Council SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.
“The terms of reference for the inquiry were inadequate in not taking social or environmental considerations into account. They have come up with an answer, but it was the wrong question.”
“The recommendation to increase service charges for simply accessing supply and reduce the price of actual water consumed will discourage our community and business from being water-wise. It will slow down important projects like storm water harvesting and wastewater recycling.
“How can we ever say we have water security when this depends on continued supply for the ever- struggling Murray River?
“Water pricing is the one of the best incentives for conserving water.
“These recommendations are likely to reward big water users and punish water-wise households. Living in the driest state, we need to be smarter than that,” Mr Wilkins said.