Water rate notices are issued during April and October and reflect the cost of delivering a water supply service to the community.

From the date of the notice, you have 31 days to pay or enter into a payment arrangement with us. A 10% discount is applied if the water rate notice is paid by the due date. 


How your water rate notice is calculated

The charges on your notice can look complex and be difficult to understand. So to help you, we've provided an explanation about the standard items that make up your notice and how these are calculated to get your total amount.

Your water rate notice is split into two different types of charges; a water consumption charge and a water access charge. These combined charges cover the costs related to water supply such as operating costs, maintenance, upgrade and expansion costs and depreciation. This pricing approach is widely used by Councils.

  1. Water consumption charge: To encourage responsible use of water, consumption is scaled so that the more water you use, the more you pay. Consumption is charged per kilolitre and divided into two tiers each 6 month period. The water consumption price covers the variable costs including treatment and transporting of water.
  2. Water access charge: The water access charge is a fixed charge and is charged each 6 month period. It applies to all properties that are eligible. This charge covers the cost of access to the water supply and maintenance of the water network, including the Wivenhoe pipeline. 

We have two main water supply services; Toowoomba bulk water supply and Regional water systems. These services receive water from different sources. Because of this, the cost of operating the supplies is different, and this is reflected in our water rates pricing (residents using the non-Toowoomba bulk water supply pay less for the water service). 

The Toowoomba bulk water supply uses a complex water system with unique challenges and our water costs reflect this (e.g. the need to pump water uphill and supply a vast Council area).

  1. Toowoomba bulk water supply. This includes the City of Toowoomba as well as the towns and localities of Bergen, Birnam, Blue Mountain Heights, Cabarlah, Cawdor, Charlton, Coalbank, Cotswold Hills, Crows Nest, Geham, Glenvale, Goombungee, Gowrie Junction, Gowrie Mountain, Grapetree, Hampton, Highfields, Hodgson Vale, Jondaryan, Kingsthorpe, Kleinton, Lilyvale, Meringandan, Meringandan West, Merritts Creek, Mount Rascal, Oakey, Pechey, Preston, Spring Bluff, Top Camp, Torrington, Wellcamp, Westbrook, Woolmer, Wyreema.
  2. Regional water systems (Non-Toowoomba bulk water supply). This includes a variety of services in Cambooya, Cecil Plains, Clifton, Greenmount, Haden, Kulpi, Millmerran, Nobby, Pittsworth, Vale View and Yarraman.

Charges for those eligible for the Toowoomba bulk water supply scheme are calculated independently of Regional water systems.

All properties in our region have been categorised as residential or non-residential and the price you pay for water will depend on the type of property you have. Residential properties include dwellings, flats, home units and vacant land. Non-residential properties include shops, warehouses, office blocks, schools, hotels and shopping centres.

The prices for all water access and water consumption charges can be found in the Special Meeting to consider the Adoption of the 2021/22 Operational Plan, Budget and Revenue Statement - 16 June 2021 - Minutes.

We have included an example of half-yearly pricing for a household with a 20mm diameter meter below.


Non-Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply

Normal water service connection size: 20mm

Access charge: $261.69

First tier maximum consumption limit: 125kL

Tier charges:

  • First tier: $1.38/kL
  • Second tier: $2.47/kL

Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply

Normal water service connection size: 20mm

Access charge: $349.94

First tier maximum consumption limit: 100kL

Tier charges:

  • First tier: $2.73/kL
  • Second tier: $4.43/kL

Non residential

Non-Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply 

Normal water service connection size: 20mm

Access charge: $276.30

First tier maximum consumption limit: 125kL

Tier charges:

  • First tier: $1.45/kL
  • Second tier: $2.61/kL

Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply

Normal water service connection size: 20mm

Access charge: $373.02

First tier maximum consumption limit: 100kL

Tier charges:

  • First tier: $2.91/kL
  • Second tier: $4.72/kL

Water rate notice - front page

sample water rate notice page1

Water rate notice- back page

sample water rate notice page 2 v2


Why your water usage might be higher than expected

If your water usage is higher than expected, it may be due to one of the reasons below. Receiving your water notice is often a good prompt to review your water use habits. Check out our water-saving tips to help reduce your water consumption, and save money!

Number of days of water usage

Your water rate notice may vary slightly each half-year due to the number of days in between meter readings. You can calculate your daily usage by taking the number of litres used and dividing that by the number of days in the billed period (check the dates on your bill). You can then do the same for the previous bill to compare if there has been a change in water use.

The season

Water use may increase during the warmer, drier months particularly if you have been watering a garden or lawn. Keep this in mind when comparing your current daily usage to the usage during the previous billing period.

Increase in household size

If the number of people in your household has increased since the last billing period, your water use will probably increase too. Even short term visitors can cause a variation in water usage.

Automatic watering

It's easy to forget your automatic watering system and it could be using water that is not required.

Home renovations or improvements

During building renovations or other home improvements such as a newly laid lawn, your water consumption may increase.

New appliances or fittings

Your water use might have increased if you have installed new appliances or fittings such as a dishwasher, washing machine, evaporative air-conditioner, irrigation, shower heads or taps.


Leaks can occur anywhere on your property and may not always be able to be seen. Find out more about how to identify leaks and how to do a water meter leak test in our 'Water leaks' article.


What to do after purchasing or selling a property

Once all necessary paperwork for the sale of the house has been processed by the solicitors, they will send the settlement/transfer of ownership documents to the Department of Resources. The documents are lodged with the Titles Office to change the name on the title deed for the property. Department of Resources will then inform us of the change of ownership. This process can take up to 3 months.

The solicitors should organise for the meter to be read at the time of settlement to allow for adjustments to be made for water usage. This allows for the calculation of the proportion of water rates (made up of water consumption charges and an access fee) that should be adjusted on settlement day.

Water rates on change of property ownership

In most cases when a property goes through settlement the solicitors will do an adjustment to accommodate water rates and charges. We do not adjust water rates and consumption charges, and the current property owner will always receive the notice, even when the usage was from the previous owner. This is why in most cases, dependent on the solicitor, an adjustment is made at settlement. These adjustments can usually be found in the settlement statement. Otherwise, you can contact your solicitor to discuss the breakdown of water rates and charges.

Sometimes when settlement occurs during the rates issue period the notice is issued to the previous owner. Even though settlement has taken place, it can take us up to three months to receive notification of the new owner from the titles office. If this occurs, contact us and we can check the status of the change of ownership.


Frequently asked questions 

We realise town water systems are a complex service and might raise a few questions, so here are some answers.

Water access and usage charges pay for the costs of your complete town water system. This includes activities such as operating the network of dams, weirs, bores, pipes, pumps, reservoirs and treatment plants. It includes water testing, water demand management, maintaining existing and constructing new water infrastructure as well as planning for the future.

In the Environment, water & waste > Water usage & supply > Water sources, supply & storage levels part of our website we have an article that explains this in full. Refer to Where our water comes from .

Water rates (both the access and usage charges) are different between the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply and regional town water supply systems.

In the Our region > Major projects > Water & waste part of our website we have a list of feature projects relating to water infrastructure.

The Environment, water & waste > Water usage & supply > Water sources, supply & storage levels > Wivenhoe pipeline FAQs part of our website has a series of questions and answers on this subject.



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