Water usage is pretty low right now, but when conditions do dry out it will be worth noting that Forbes Shire Council's charges are going up 15 cents per kilolitre from 1 July.
The 10 per cent increase in the usage charge - from $1.50 to $1.65 per 1000 litres - was part of the 2022/2023 schedule of fees and charges adopted at the June council meeting.
Access charges will also go up "roughly five per cent" in line with the anticipated CPI.
The increase is needed to cover the costs of supplying water and to ensure we can fund major capital upgrades in future, the report to councillors explains.
"The water fund actually reported a deficit last financial year due to the extremely wet conditions, this year it will probably report a very small deficit," the council's Director Corporate Services Stefan Murru said.
"Our forecasts for the next year see both the water and sewer fund well above a cost recovery level and being sustainable into the future - and that's with the cheapest water in our general area in terms of consumption charges."
Mayor Phyllis Miller warned Forbes was 20 years "behind the eight-ball" when it came to funding its own water infrastructure because the water treatment plant was 20 years old before the user pays system came in in the early 2000s.
"Prior to that we were on the country towns water supply and sewerage schemes, where a town like us would get 75 per cent of the funding from government and we'd most probably put 25 per cent in," she said.
Water consumption charges in neighbouring councils range from a minimum of $2.00 per kl to $4.25 per kl, staff advised councillors.
Also in the budget is a seven per cent increase in waste charges to account for increased operating costs and to help fund waste service expansion.
That puts the standard residential three bin collection up $38 to $585.
The council has budgeted $1.3 million for waste tip expansion in the 2022/23 financial year.
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