Operating Licence

Our Operating Licence 2019-2023 and Customer Contract began in November 2019.

Our Operating Licence allows us to do what we do - supply you with water, wastewater, recycled water and stormwater services.

It also sets requirements for us to provide services to you. These cover: 

  • water quality

  • asset performance, including system performance standards

  • the Economic Level of Water Conservation (ELWC)

  • environmental indicators and management

  • customer and consumer rights in the Customer Contract.

Drinking water diagram

Drinking water system.
[click to enlarge]

The Operating Licence also contains our Customer Contract. This contract sets out our minimum service standards. It also outlines your rights and obligations as a customer.

To find out more, read Our contract with you which summarises the full contract. We also send a copy of this document to all customers with the bill once a year.

Our Customer Contract also includes diagrams that show who is responsible for maintaining authorised connections to our water and wastewater systems

These diagrams are illustrative only and should not be relied on for any purpose other than to help you understand the provisions in this contract.

Gravity wastewater diagram

Wastewater system.
[click to enlarge]

At Sydney Water, we continuously drive water efficiency.

We use the Economic Level of Water Conservation methodology to determine water efficient programs.

The methodology was approved under our Operating Licence and reviewed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in 2016. 

Read more about:


August 2021 July 2021

Dam level at start of month

95.7% 96.2%

The value of water*

$0.31 / kL $0.31 / kL

Economic level of savings

8.1 ML/day 8.1 ML/day

*Note the value of water is NOT the price. The value reflects the worth of water depending on storage levels. The economic level of savings reflects our baseline water conservation program, as dams are above 80%.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) reviews our Operating Licence and Customer Contract about every five years.

The review provides an opportunity for us, stakeholders and customers to comment on whether the licence and contract are working well or could be improved. After considering this feedback, IPART recommends a new version of the licence and contract to the Minister for Water, Property and Housing.

Throughout the review, we work with customers and the community to ensure we understand your needs and values. In the most recent review, we adapted some of our plans to align with what customers want and are willing to pay for. This included decisions on regulated service standards, proposed pricing structures and specific projects.
Under Part 8 of the 2019-23 Operating Licence, Sydney Water is required to:
  • negotiate in good faith with licensees and potential competitors under the Water Industry Competition (WIC) Act
  • publish servicing information
  • establish a code of conduct with WIC Act licensees where required under a WIC Act licence.
Each year, we publish a report on the  Provision of information and services to WIC Act licensees and potential competitors.