Melbourne Water and the Price Submission

Melbourne Water is a statutory authority owned by the Victorian Government. We provide wholesale water and sewerage services to the retail water businesses, and partner with councils and other organisations to deliver waterway and drainage services to the greater Melbourne region.

The following map shows the area we service:

All water businesses prepare a Price Submission detailing the service standards and prices they propose for a period of up to five years. This must be approved by the Essential Services Commission, Victoria’s independent regulator, who monitors performance and conducts reviews to protect the interests of water consumers.

Melbourne Water’s Price Submission includes our Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan which details the program of works in waterways and drainage services that deliver on our responsibilities as caretaker of waterways and floodplain manager across greater Melbourne.

For further details about our last Price Submission, visit

As the wholesale provider of water, sewage treatment and recycled water, our prices are paid by the retail water utility companies who service homes and businesses. We are also responsible for managing over 25,000 kilometres of rivers and creeks, floodplains and the drainage system throughout the greater Melbourne region; this work is funded by the Waterways and Drainage Charge, which water retailers collect on our behalf.

Your water bill therefore includes:

  • water and sewerage charges – including costs from your retailer as well as our wholesale services (which make up more than half the total amount)
  • Waterways and Drainage Charge – a direct Melbourne Water charge to you, collected on our behalf by your water retailer, used to invest in a range of projects to protect waterway health, improve drainage and provide flood protection.

Community engagement

No one knows the priorities of our customers and community better than our customers and community themselves. Understanding what you want and need from our water services enables us to develop a service offering that delivers the outcomes you care about, at a standard and price representing value for the community.

Where we focus our resources now will prepare us for the future, and help us face the challenges of a changing climate, growing population, and increasing urbanisation.

Throughout the entire pricing process we’ll be working with our customers – the organisations we partner with to deliver services, including retail water companies, local government, developers and industry bodies – as well as the broader community we collectively serve.

This collaboration will help us prioritise where we focus our resources and the prices we charge for our services, ensuring we continue to balance the social and economic needs of the community with the long-term interests of the environment.

We have established Customer Councils with representatives from water retailers, local government and developers, and will also be seeking community views through a range of panels, surveys, online tools and events.

Feedback from our customers and community will help shape the service standards and prices we propose in our 2021 Price Submission. This includes the outcomes our services should deliver, options for achieving them and customer willingness to pay.

Some of our service requirements cannot be changed, including the need to meet regulated standards and government obligations and expectations. Also non-negotiable are the predefined strategies, policies, and commitments that have undergone considerable engagement (including the Sewerage and Healthy Waterways strategies and Water for Victoria).

We’ll provide a number of opportunities to provide feedback as we develop and refine our Price Submission, before submitting it to the Essential Services Commission in mid-2020. The easiest way to stay informed is to follow this page and receive updates.

Local government engagement