Each Victorian water business has a clearly defined geographic region, and provides water and wastewater services to customers within this region. As such, the water businesses do not compete directly for each other’s customers. The Commission publishes an annual water performance report comparing the quality and reliability of the services each water business provides.
Who owns the water retailers?
All Victorian water businesses are State Government Business Entities. The Minister for Water is the portfolio Minister for the Victorian water industry.
Melbourne’s water businesses
Three retail businesses (City West Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water) and one bulk water company (Melbourne Water) service the Melbourne area. The three retail businesses provide water and wastewater services to households and businesses within their region and undertake some sewage collection and treatment.
Melbourne Water provides bulk water and sewerage services to the three retailers and a number of regional businesses, and provides drainage services throughout Melbourne.
Regional urban water businesses
Thirteen water businesses provide water and wastewater services to urban customers throughout regional Victoria. Some of these businesses are vertically integrated, being responsible for harvesting water, managing headworks, treating and delivering water for human use, and treating and disposing of wastewater.
Each business is responsible for serving a number of supply areas (cities or towns), often across a number of catchments. This often requires a business to use a number of discrete supply systems.
Rural water businesses
Victoria is also divided into regions that are served by four rural water businesses. These businesses are responsible for harvesting water and operating headworks, managing irrigation districts, supplying irrigation and stock and domestic water services to rural customers (that is, farms), supplying bulk water to some regional urban businesses, and administering diversion licenses.
Two of these businesses, Lower-Murray Water and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater), provide both rural and regional urban services.