Look, with interest rates inching higher and the costs of living slowly increasing, it’s time to save wherever you can. A perfect place to start is your water bill. However, to know how much you can save, you need to understand what the different components of your water bill are, what you’re paying currently, and what you can do to reduce your water usage. 

In this post, we’ll deal with all these aspects in more detail. 

Water Cost Components

The first step in understanding how much you’ll pay for water, and, thus, how you can reduce your water bill, is knowing what your bill consists of. Your water bill consists of supply and usage charges. Supply charges refer to the operating costs necessary to get water to your home. As such, it includes expenses like wages, maintenance costs, infrastructure upgrades, taxes, and chemicals that Icon Water, Canberra’s sole water supplier, has. 

The other part of your water costs is usage charges. Here, you’ll pay a fixed, more affordable Tier 1 rate for the first 50 kL per quarter per household and a more expensive Tier 2 rate for any water used in excess of 50 kL per quarter.  

Average Water Costs

You might think that calculating average water costs is as simple as multiplying usage with the usage rates. However, at best, this will only give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay as usage differs based on everything from the time of year, how many people there are in your household, and what appliances you use. With that in mind, let’s look at the expected average water costs for Canberra.

Based on recent Census data, the average person in Canberra uses about 100 kL of water per year. This means that the water bill for a two-person household will be about $1,150 per year, which includes the annual water supply and sewage charge of about $702. For a four-person household, the average annual water costs will be about $2,075, which includes water supply and sewage charges as well as Tier 1 and Tier 2 usage charges. 

Tips for Reducing Your Bills

It’s no surprise that, based on the average costs calculated above, water can become quite expensive. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can implement to save water and reduce your water bill. These include:

  • Consciously focusing on how much water you use and how you can use less.
  • Using water-efficient appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Using washing machines and dishwashers on their Eco cycle and only when they’re full.
  • Using low flow taps and shower heads. 
  • Fixing any leaks or dripping taps.
  • Collecting rainwater for washing your car or watering your garden. 


Hopefully, this post helped illustrate the different components of your water bill, how the cost of water is calculated, and what you can expect to pay for water in Canberra. Also, we hope you now have some measures you use to use less water and save more money.