Sewerage spending tempers Aussie water capex decline
Published 5th April 2012
Capital expenditure by urban water utilities in Australia dropped by 18% to A$5.5 billion (US$5.7 billion) in the year ended 30 June 2011, according to figures released earlier this week by the National Water Commission.
The drop reflects the tail end of a major drought-driven infrastructure build-out, which, together with recent rainfall and a trend towards lower consumption, is predicted to raise the country’s supply capacity to roughly five times demand in 2011-2012 (around 6.3 billion m³), versus just two times in 2006-2007.
While the completion of large-scale desalination plants in Queensland and New South Wales accounted for some of the 34% drop-off in water infrastructure spending last year, capital expenditure on sewerage infrastructure rose from A$2.3 billion to A$2.5 billion.
The widespread reductions in the volumes of water supplied to customers also resulted in lower net profits for more than two thirds of the utilities which reported data to NWC.