Australia Water & Wastewater: Municipal Market Trends, Drivers, and Forecasts

7 May 2023
Available with corporate subscription

Over 25 million people receive water services in Australia—84% of which are served by 16 major utilities serving over 100,000 connections each. The combination of extreme climate risks, growing population demand, and a water-intensive industrial footprint makes Australia a highly advanced water market and a key benchmark country for water and sewer solutions providers, globally.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth and has an average annual rainfall of just 470 mm. From 2001 to 2010, the country’s Millennium Drought put immense pressure on its water management strategy, spurring significant capital investments in technologies like desalination, reuse, and water storage to shore up water security. More importantly, it elevated water management as a critical priority—one that is often overlooked in other parts of the world.

The municipal water market continues to evolve while placing greater emphasis on investments in operational solutions like digital network monitoring, smart meters, and leakage management. As utilities seek greater efficiencies throughout the network, operating expenditures (as a share of the total) have climbed from 19% in 2009 to more than 58% in 2022.

This Insight Report provides an in-depth analysis of Australia’s municipal water market and includes CAPEX and OPEX forecasts, utility benchmarks (e.g., leakage), and market outlook. The report also highlights key trends shaping the expenditures for 82 utilities.

Table of Contents

Overview of the Municipal Water Sector

  • Australia Market Overview
  • Australia Water Policy Overview
  • Water Strategy Goals by State and Territory
  • Sources of Water Supplies by State
  • Water Usage by User Type and State

Utility Performance & Benchmarks

  • Overview of Municipal Water Service Provision in Australia by Region
  • Overview of Municipal Water Service Provision in Australia by Utility Size
  • Governance Structure across Municipal Water Systems
  • Residential Bills for Water and Sewerage Services

Market Trends & Forecasts

  • Water Quality Issues by State and Territories
  • Annual Water Main Breaks Trends by System Size
  • Annual Sewerage Pipe Break Trends by System Size
  • Infrastructure Leakage Index as an Indicator of Buried Asset Health

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