Sydney water bills to soar as mass immigration overruns supply

With Sydney’s water storages plummeting at an unprecedented rate:

The Berejiklian Government this week announced that it would fast-track an expansion of Sydney’s desalination plant, doubling its size in order to provide more than 30% of Sydney’s drinking water.

Predictably, this expansion is set to drive up household water bills:

Water experts are warning an expansion of Sydney’s $2.3 billion desalination plant is likely to take up to two years to complete and lead to higher bills for households…

Water Minister Melinda Pavey, who has said it is important to minimise customer bills, said on Thursday that an increase in bills “has to be a consideration”.

“If you’re building infrastructure, it does have an impact on bills,” she told ABC Radio.

Stuart Khan, a water expert at the University of NSW, agreed consumers would inevitably face higher bills to cover the cost of the expansion and ongoing operation of the plant…

“We have already laid the ground work for it. The expansion of the desalination plant is the only realistic option at this point,” he said…

Labor leader Jodi McKay also criticised the delay in the preparation of a business case for the expansion.

“NSW is running out of water; we don’t have time to waste,” she said.

As usual, the article ignores the fact that mass immigration is behind the surge in water demand at the same time as natural supplies have dwindled.

Sydney’s population has grown by around 1.3 million people (36%) since the Sydney Olympics, and it is projected to grow by another 4.5 million people over the next 48 years – all due to mass immigration:

This population explosion will necessarily require a battery of desalination plants to be built along Sydney’s coast. And given desalinated water is around four times as expensive as traditional dam water:

This necessarily means household water bills will rise dramatically, which will adversely impact lower income households in particular.

In fact, modelling by Infrastructure Australia in 2017 projected that household water bills would more than quadruple in real terms because of population growth and climate change, rising from $1,226 in 2017 to $6,000 in 2067. The report also warned that “the impact of these changes on household affordability could be substantial… and could lead to significant hardship”:

Here is another example of how running a mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy wrecks living standards of the working class.

Australia’s mass immigration policy is now a key threat to Australia’s water security.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. Wow in the nick of time by the NSW government. It’s like they’ve only just noticed.
    They (we) are going to get raped on the cost of this.
    NSW government will claim they’ve done a great job managing down the operator’s WACC, etc., but costs will be out the wazoo.

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      Desal water is liquid electricity. A circular problem.
      Current 10% of Sydney uses 50 MW, while dams (ie sustainable) or house rain tanks for all use only 2MW for pumping.
      So for all of sydney add also $500 million cost for half a coal fired powerstation, with more greenhouse gases…etc

      • Bingo! So much for those emissions targets.

        More people, more cars, more desal, greater power requirements – and it won’t come courtesy of fairy farts.

        No wonder the Coalition don’t want a bar of it – with mass immigration the central plank of their economic policy, failure to get anywhere near emissions targets is all but guaranteed.

        We are doomed.

        • Jumping jack flash

          “…100% renewable energy.”

          Yep, so the desal plant, connected to the grid of course, must only use up all that special renewable energy floating around in the grid and none of the nasty non-renewable stuff that’s also in there. So I suppose if you’re paying extra for renewable energy on your bill, then maybe it’s time to do some maths to see if there’s enough being generated to go round?

    • I think a rotating bunch of school kids can make better decisions. Get a group of kids to be ministers for a periodof time (2 months maybe) have the public service present different policy options and the ‘minister’ chooses one. I’m sure we’d end up with better options regardless of how old the kids were overall.

      • I think you are onto something. I was going to suggest we use 45X visa workers, but kids would be better and anything would be an improvement on what we have.

    • do you and people in general still believe this is matter of ineptitude?
      how naive one needs to be to think that this is due to inability of people who successfully outsmarted many smart people to get on the top of party hierarchy?

      this is not ineptitude but pure CORRUPTION

      rotating bunch of school kids would make better decisions not because they are smarter and more capable but because they are less corrupt.

      • it is ineptitude when they screw a ‘system’ to the point of collapse via what passes for policy making. As for being smart most of these people walk in off the street and want to be politicians for a number of reasons; gold plated pension, appeals to their narcissism, psychopathy, etc. There are very few technocrats/scientists in any level of government in Australia and therefore there is a poor to zero understanding of the role technology (all technology) plays in creating economic wealth. Inept and corrupt.

        • none of them have long term interest of system surviving
          they are in only to scoop as much in as little time and run … just look at Baird

          quitting to spend more time and help sick father … just to get new super paid executive job few weeks later

        • it is ineptitude when they screw a ‘system’ to the point of collapse via what passes for policy making.

          Not if you get out before it happens.

          We are reaching the culmination of 40-odd years of glorifying “me want, fvck you”.

          • Jumping jack flash

            The economy is a giant get-rich-quick scam. The rubes take on the debt to hand to the grifters.

            Then the rubes wait patiently for their turn to be grifters

      • I’m with you on this one doc. Our country is notionally run by puppets motivated by self-interest, which itself derives from the goodies bestowed on them by powerful people and industries.

        We are a corporatocracy and ScoMo is the finest example of a leader (so far) completely in thrall to special interest groups. He literally does not give a rat’s about anybody or anything, outside of doing his masters’ bidding.

    • Spot On! Couldn’t agree more! I think part of the problem in Australia is compulsory voting – most don’t have to try and the ones that do are in a minority and thus don’t have the clout. Ask yourself when were you last “door knocked” before an election to get out and vote!!

      • I completely disagree with this comment about compulsory voting. It enables everyone to have a say in our democracy for better or for worse. What is not democratic is the belief that only certain people who know better than the great unwashed should have the right to vote.

        • Right to vote enables one to have a say, forcing one to cast the vote imitates representation of the populace.
          In Aussie forced vote system, what is my choice if I want to exercise my right for my vote to NOT go to any particular party and de-legitimise the choices offered?
          If forces parties to promote and less deviate from promised policies and to activate plebs

          • You are not forced to cast a vote. You are forced to attend a polling booth.

            Non-compulsory voting means only the views of those who vote are considered.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      and there are so many of the bugger$.
      13 houses of parliament for a population of 25million people is gross over representation.
      They are aplague on the body politic

  2. Flammable Cladding

    DomainFax Politburu’s “Great Firewall of Immigration Denial” is holding firm. Multiple attempts to point out the problem with bringing 2,000 people in each week to compete for water whilst the levels fall – all binned.

    Gees can you imagine the training brainwashing required to be deemed ready to man non-binary gender the comment moderation censorship screens at SMH?? I reckon there’s a huge photo of Dr Demography in the SMH office censorship work hall staring down at them like those ones of Dear Leader Kim in North Korea!!!

    It would be worse. Imagine working at this stress inducing gulag:

    A News Corp employee has slammed the organisation for its “irresponsible”, “dangerous” and “damaging” coverage of the national bushfire crisis, urging executive chairman Michael Miller to think about the “big picture”.

    In an email distributed to News Corp Australia staff and addressed to Mr Miller, commercial finance manager Emily Townsend said she had been filled with anxiety and disappointment over the coverage, which had impacted her ability to work.

    “I have been severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires, in particular the misinformation campaign that has tried to divert attention away from the real issue which is climate change to rather focus on arson (including misrepresenting facts),” she said.

    ‘Severely impacted by the coverage …’ What the actual FVK ?????!!!!!!!????????????/

    How about the people actually out there in the midst of the smoke and flames losing loosing houses / stock / livelihoods?

  3. Jumping jack flash

    “..rising from $1,226 in 2017 to $6,000 in 2067.”

    It is good to see someone actually making some long-term predictions to highlight how mad the madness is.

    Let’s see the same thing done with incomes and then let’s do the same with house prices and let’s do the same with debt.

    It will surely highlight the idiocy of our current economic paradigm.

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