Water bills are one of those necessary costs of living that we must reluctantly pay every quarter. It can seem like prices are always on the rise, and many of us are left wondering how our bill compares to the average water bill Australia. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder anymore as we have packed all of the information you need related to average water usage and factors affecting average water bills all into this comprehensive average water bill Australia guide

Average water bill Australia

According to a survey by Canstar Blue in May 2020, the average water bill in Australia is $272 per quarter. This works out to be $1088 per year, $90.67 per month, or $20.92 per week. 

Average water bill Australia by state

The price of water per kilolitre varies between different states and therefore so does the average water bill. 

Western Australia$234
New South Wales$246
South Australia$324


Factors affecting average water bills

Although it’s handy to look at average water bills in Australia there are several factors that can affect average bills significantly, for example, the time of year. In colder parts of the country, residents may take longer showers during the winter (means more usage of hot water systems), and in dry areas, people may water their gardens more often during the summer. 

Water bills are also affected by where you live since you are charged for the supply of water to your address as well as your usage. For example, those in regional areas may pay more than residents of urban areas. 

A change in your habits may also affect water consumption and therefore your bill, for example adding a new household member, or buying a new sprinkler for your lawn. Other factors include leaky pipes and inefficient appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.


Water usage in Australia

Australians have the highest water usage per person in the world, despite being the driest inhabited continent. The average daily usage is 340L per person or 900L per household. However, in some coastal regions, the average is 100L per person, whereas in some dry inland regions it is as high as 800L per person. 

So what are we using this water for? Well, a single flush toilet uses approximately 12L per flush. A bath uses approximately 100L, whilst a 10-minute shower uses about 200L. Dishwashers use approximately 50L per load, whilst washing machines use 150L per load. On average we each use about 10L per day for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. 


Water bills explained

Even when armed with a better understanding of average water bills and usage, understanding your bill can be tricky. 

Generally, water bills are made up of two types of charges: a fixed access charge and variable usage charges. The fixed access charge covers both the connection to sewerage systems and the supply of water to your home. 

The variable usage charge is based on the amount of water that you use. This charge is generally tiered, meaning that you are charged a certain amount for your water up to a threshold. Any water usage above the threshold will be charged at a higher rate. 

Variable usage charges also include sewerage which is charged at the same rate as your water usage and is estimated at about 90% of your average daily water use. 

Depending on where in Australia you are based, your bill may also include a state bulk water charge. This is the amount that the state government charges the water retailer to purchase water to supply to customers. It is set by the state government, and the retailer is required by law to pass the cost on to consumers. 

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