Having just received my water bill from ACTEWAGL I was very disappointed to see that despite my usage being down 33kl over the same period last year, my total bill has increased by $70. This year we put no water on our garden except for grey water – water from baths, showers and laundry was captured for this purpose; we installed a rainwater tank for native plants and did everything possible to save this precious resource. The government has added a myriad of taxes and charges (water abstraction charge, ACT Govt utilities sewer network tax and ACT Govt utilities water network tax) as well as substantially increasing the cost of water for usage over 100kl per annum.
From the website: Over a 12–month period, water usage is charged at the following rates:
the first 100kL water used per year is charged at $0.775 per kL
usage between 100kL and 300kL per year is charged at $1.67 per kL
usage in excess of 300kL per year is charged at $2.57 per kL
This is an grossly unfair method of charging for water as it does not usage does not take into account the number of people in a household. So, in my humble opinion, the moral of the story is that is is just not worth the effort of lugging buckets around the garden unless you can keep consumption under 100kl.