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True Water Approved as Independent Water Utility

The New South Wales (NSW) State Government Minster for Water, The Honourable Rose Jackson, MLC, has formally licenced True Water as an Independent Water Utility. True Water is one of a handful of private water utilities in Australia. True Water is a licenced Network Operator and Retail Supplier. These licences, issued under the Water Industry and Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act), allow True Water to operate water industry infrastructure as an Independent Water Utility.

NSW is experiencing significant population growth, particularly on the fringe of cities, and large regional towns. This places pressure on existing wastewater infrastructure and highlights the need for more efficient and scalable solutions.

The WIC Act has been in place for 20 years. The legislation, and the way it is applied, is currently being updated for the first time. The transition to new legislation marks a new approach to how independent water utilities are assessed and governed. True Water will be one of the first utilities to be licensed under the improved structure.


Independent Water Utilities can provide sewage services to emerging communities that would otherwise have to wait for municipal connection.

IWUs can provide sewage services to emerging communities that would otherwise have to wait for municipal connection.

The Need for Innovation in Wastewater Management

For more than 150 years, the centralised infrastructure model has been the standard for managing raw sewage. This approach involves capturing wastewater from large catchments and transporting it over long distances to a central location for treatment before discharge of effluent to waterways.

However, this model is often fraught with economic challenges from both CAPEX and OPEX perspectives. Moreover, it provides very few social benefits and results in substantial environmental impacts. In the 1990s, governments recognised that the build and supply phase of public utilities had catered for demand, but also resulted in:

  • government debt and financially unsustainable water authorities with little incentive to implement prudent service delivery at least cost
  • capital assets built with little economic or financial consideration reaching the end of their useful life, and
  • inefficient water pricing and significant cross subsidies, resulting in excessive consumption and the need to invest in capital upgrades.

In response to changing community expectations regarding the social responsibility of conventional treatment, the NSW government established a regulatory framework. It fosters increased competition for innovative, efficient, and cost-effective wastewater treatment solutions. In general, water utilities moved from being government run departments, to operating at arm’s length under an independent board structure.

Working with World Leading Technology for Better Utilities

The Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act) goes a step further and allows private entities to operate as utilities. The WIC Act seeks to foster a competitive, efficient, and sustainable water industry. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), acts as the principal regulator with an objective of guaranteeing consumer access to high-quality services at fair prices while ensuring long term continuity of service. IPART requires IWUs to demonstrate technical, operational, and financial capacity to provide essential services. This is required for the life of the infrastructure, typically in perpetuity.

True Water, in partnership with Kubota Corporation, offers sustainable wastewater infrastructure solutions for populations of up to 5000 people. Specialising in providing services to communities where access to municipal sewer services is limited or not available, our innovative wastewater solutions provide immediate service provision well before traditional municipal timelines. In addition, our systems focus on delivering a range of lifecycle benefits, including minimising capital and operational costs, and securing environmental benefits.


Small Japanese community with semi-decentralised infrastructure provided by an Independent Utility.

Small community with semi-decentralised infrastructure provided by an independent water utility.


Independent Utility for Interim Wastewater Solution for Sydney Community

True Water is currently delivering a utility project south of Sydney for a large community of 1200 homes. The project will see the provision of a utility wastewater treatment system to be operated under True Water’s IWU licences. Sewage and water infrastructure requires the implementation of detailed planning, delivery, management, and auditing processes.

The foundation of this commitment is our Integrated Environmental Management System (IEMS). This comprehensive quality management process is designed to deliver stakeholder objectives, secure compliance, and protect public health and the environment. It as a guiding framework that goes beyond mere compliance to establish high expectations for wastewater asset management.

True Water is dedicated to protecting the natural environment, safeguarding public health, and improving the prosperity of present and future generations. This stewardship embodies our core organisational values: Environment. Water. People.


Staged release development.

Staged release development can be serviced by an independant utility in line with project progress.