Our Submission is the result of extensive engagement to understand the needs of our diverse customers across the water sector, industry and government, as well as the broader community who benefits from our services.

Over a period of 20 months, we provided multiple opportunities to shape our engagement program – and our Submission itself – through a variety of forums ranging from community festivals and focus groups, to a robust community research program and online tools (including this website!).

We also established Customer Councils with formal representatives from your local water company and council, community groups, other government authorities and the development industry, who worked closely with us throughout the process to develop our Submission.

Our key activities and findings are summarised in the following Engagement Report:

How you shaped our Submission

Our three-stage engagement program placed customers and the community at the centre of our Submission: from identifying the outcomes customers value, to exploring community investment preferences and reviewing performance measures, and validating our thinking along the way.

Through this process, we’ve aimed to not only develop a Submission that reflects the experiences, priorities and values of Melburnians, but also set the foundation for an ongoing conversation about services to support future generations.

Key activities and themes

Explore the activities and outcomes of each stage in more detail:

We asked our customers and community what they valued about our services and what issues were important to them, to identify the focus areas for our engagement program.

Key activities

  • Review of industry learnings and research to consolidate knowledge of community attitudes and identify gaps
  • Customer and community research to explore the value of our services and inform early planning for our Submission
  • Community co-design workshop to develop a set of values to guide our Submission
  • Online surveys and community festival stalls to understand community priorities
  • Customer Council meetings to finalise our engagement program and identify focus areas

Price Submission linkages

  • Preliminary Customer Outcomes drafted
  • Engagement program scope set

Explore Stage 1 in detail

We tested a range of ideas for new programs and services with the community, to understand their investment preferences and prioritise our program. An online community deliberative panel also reviewed our proposed performance measures to track our progress against each customer outcome.

Key activities

  • Local government submissions to shape our waterways and drainage services
  • Community research program, including focus groups and online surveys, to understand preferences and willingness to pay for programs and levels of service
  • Customer Council meetings to refine Customer Outcomes and performance measures, and review proposed capital and operational expenditure

Price Submission linkages

  • Customer Outcomes refined and prioritised
  • Outputs and measures developed for each Customer Outcome
  • Investment program developed

Explore Stage 2 in detail

We're asking for your feedback to validate and refine the draft proposals for our Price Submission, ensuring it delivers the outcomes Melburnians value.

Key activities

  • Customer Council review of draft Price Submission
  • Community deliberative panels on outcomes and performance measures
  • Online public consultation on key proposals in our draft Price Submission

Price Submission linkages

  • Refinement and prioritisation of customer outcomes
  • Draft Price Submission for lodgement with the Essential Services Commission

Explore Stage 3 in detail

Who was involved

As a wholesale service provider with diverse responsibilities, we work in partnership with a range of organisations to seamlessly deliver water services to the community. Here’s a snapshot of who we engaged and how.


More than 4.2 million Melburnians benefit from our services and are impacted by the decisions we make.

We engaged them through:

  • Social research
  • Deliberative panels
  • Community events
  • Waterways & Drainage Customer Council

Water companies

Melbourne's retail water companies are our direct water and sewerage customers, and service homes and businesses.

We engaged them through:

  • Water & Sewerage Customer Council
  • Regulator Managers Forum
  • Engagement Advisory Panel

Local councils

We partner with 38 councils to deliver flood management and drainage services, whose assets connect to ours.

We engaged them through:

Community groups

Community groups are key partners in protecting the health of Melbourne’s 24,000 kilometres of waterways.

We engaged them through:

  • Waterways & Drainage Customer Council


Developers build drainage and stormwater treatment assets, which are often maintained by Melbourne Water.

We engaged them through:

  • Waterways & Drainage Customer Council

Direct service customers

Some customers pay for extra flood protection, waterway infrastructure or licences to divert river water.

We engaged:

Customer Councils

We established two Customer Councils to formally represent our customers and work with us to develop our Submission.

The Water and Sewerage Customer Council represented the seven retail water companies who are our direct customers for wholesale water supply and sewerage services; whilst the Waterways and Drainage Customer Council represented local councils, community groups, developers and state government authorities, who partner with us to deliver waterways and drainage services to the community.

Members met monthly to test strategic ideas, communicate preferences and provide advice on key issues and opportunities.