The Consumer Advocacy and Research Fund (CARF) was established under the Water Industry Act 2012 to support research or advocacy that promotes the interests of consumers with a disability, low-income consumers, or consumers who are located within a regional area of South Australia.
Under CARF, SACOSS is funded by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DSCI) to consult with key consumer groups to identify and recommend to DCSI projects to be funded with the objective to ensure that SA water consumers are effectively represented in water regulatory determinations, policy making and market monitoring/development.
The following projects have been funded under CARF.
Funded projects in 2016/17
• Minor and Intermediate Retailers Research and Advocacy Project (SAFCA)
• Water Consumers with a Disability Research Project (JFA Purple Orange)
• Tenants and Water Charges Project (UnitingCommunities) – Final Report TBA
Minor and Intermediate Retailers Research and Advocacy Project (SAFCA)
1 November 2016
Many South Australians receive their water and sewerage services from minor and intermediate size providers. These providers are mainly in regional South Australia, with approximately 5,700 customers receiving drinking water and 89,000 people serviced by either a Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) or Septic Tank Effluent Drainage Service (STEDS).
The South Australian Financial Counsellors Association (SAFCA) undertook a research project that surveyed 200 residential home owners who receive one or both services, to understand their levels of customer satisfaction.
Water Consumers with a Disability Research Project (JFA Purple Orange)
30 June 2017
The research found that those households with a person living with a disability tended to consume extra water due to additional needs such as extra laundry due to incontinence, longer bathing needs, pain relief showers, and the need to sterilize medical equipment. There were also issues related to water supply such as when supply disruptions impacted the ability to maintain personal hygiene and manage health conditions.