ESSENTIAL Services Commission of SA chief executive officer Adam Wilson says the need for regional drinking water upgrades has not been forgotten, but more consultation is needed before approval.
ESCOSA released its draft SA Water Regulatory Determination for the next four years, which had excluded projects to upgrade non-drinking water to drinking water in regional areas, leading to disappointment from some affected communities.
Mr Wilson said the issue was that there were concerns these projects may not be the most effective ways to achieve the desired outcomes.
"We support the general principal but (SA Water) presented no evidence for the money spent to achieve the outcomes," he said.
"We recognise the need for regional improvements but by representing stakeholders, we need SA Water to be clear customers are getting what they paid for."
He said there were several million dollars in taxpayers money budgeted so ESCOSA needed to be sure they would achieve the goals.
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Mr Wilson said it was "not a no", about these improvements and it was still possible the final report, due in June and setting the budget for the next four years, could include these projects.
Flinders Ranges Council mayor Peter Slattery said the absence of quality drinking water in Quorn had been a long-term issue and he had hoped they might finally be reaching a solution, until the release of the draft regulations.
"What we want is decent quality drinking water for our community," he said.
He said the town was reliant on bore water, which was heavily mineralised.
"You can't drink it, if you put it in your kettle, they last about a few weeks, hot water systems only last a few years and tap fittings .
"The community is reliant on rainwater for drinking and cooking, and that's not applicable to hospitality and tourism," he said.
"A lot of tanks were empty until rain earlier this year.
"We've had a lot of people carting water."
Mr Slattery said SA Water were the "experts" in the field and he trusted them to come up with an "appropriate, cost-effective" option, but would like to see that plan in place.
He said there were similar issues in Melrose and Wilmington.
"The bush pays the same as everyone and deserves drinkable water and what we are being provided at present is far from that," he said.
"Give us a fair go, drinkable water is a basic human right."
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