Water - urban/rural

We have extensive experience in the water sector. Our expertise is in emerging issues for water reform including pricing and competition. We also advise on established issues such as regulatory submissions, customer engagement, customer connections and pricing.

Thought leadership in water reform policy

Farrierswier understands important issues affecting water policy, having provided strategic policy advice on water reform in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland.

We use our knowledge and expertise to help inform and influence change.

We have played significant roles in diverse reviews including identifying opportunities for introducing competition, interconnected water grids, and principles-based economic regulatory reforms of developer charges for new connections.

Our Victorian clients have included ministerial advisory councils; the economic regulator; commissions (such as the former Competition and Efficiency Commission); government departments responsible for water, sustainability, environment, treasury and finance; and industry committees managing water resource entitlements. We have also assisted the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), Queensland Water Commission; and Water Corporation (WA).

Experts in economic regulation for water businesses

We provide strategic advice, participate in internal governance processes and assist in preparation, drafting and project management of regulatory submissions.

Our expertise includes:

  • developing regulatory frameworks and instruments
  • project establishment and staff mentoring
  • customer research and engagement
  • defining demand forecasting requirements
  • capital and operating expenditure forecasting and justification
  • forecasting and justifying regulated cost of capital
  • cost allocation
  • service classification
  • customer connections
  • pricing
  • risk allocation.

Our clients have included large metropolitan bulk water suppliers and retailers, as well as smaller metropolitan rural and regional water corporations. They include entities responsible for distribution networks, headworks, sewerage treatment plants, drainage and waterways.

Experts in providing advice to economic regulators

Farrierswier has provided strategic advice to economic regulators, and assisted them with:

  • developing regulatory frameworks
  • planning and resourcing for price reviews
  • project managing and drafting regulatory determinations
  • developing, implementing, and amending regulatory instruments.

We have worked for Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (NSW), Essential Services Commission (Victoria) and Queensland Water Commission.

Thought leaders in new economic analysis techniques

We have studied the use of Real Options analysis techniques in the urban water sector:

  • With a US consultancy, Stratelytics, we prepared two reports for the Water Services Association of Australia on the use of Real Options analysis techniques for Urban Water Resource Planning in Australia

We have advised industry on developing economic models for calculating scarcity prices.

We are experts in urban water resource planning

Planning for urban water services must address both infrastructure (treatment, delivery and disposal) and water resources (catchment supplies and alternative supplies such as desalination, reuse and market purchases).  In addition, urban water resource planning interfaces with urban spatial planning.

We have worked with urban water businesses on long term supply and demand planning, often in the context of economic regulatory determinations.

We have also advised governments on the policy framework for urban water planning; our input has covered issues such as:

  • Security of supply objectives
  • Institutional and governance arrangements
  • Investment decision making with climate change and uncertainty.

We have advised economic regulators on options for addressing long term water resource planning (and associated investments, uncertainty and costs) within the shorter term regulatory determination period.

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