National Performance Reporting Indicator Review - update

In October 2020, the Bureau of Meteorology (Bureau), in conjunction with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and the National Performance Reporting (NPR) Technical Reference Group initiated a review of the NPR indicators.

The review aimed to:

  • Identify the outcome areas and indicators required to support transparency and public confidence in urban water utilities.
  • Deliver a nationally relevant and valued (by users) set of reporting metrics that provide insight and comparison opportunities, for key aspects of water service provider performance.
  • Develop a data quality framework, including operating procedures relating to data capture, processing, quality control and support. This includes recommendations on auditing procedures and what should be integrated into the data quality framework.

The review was conducted by an independent water industry consultant (Hydrology and Risk Consulting - HARC). The outcomes of the review can be found in the National Performance Reporting Framework Indicator Review; Insights, finding and recommendations report.

The review has drawn insights from:

  • A literature review.
  • Written submissions.
  • Interviews with water utilities, peak industry bodies, water regulators and Australian Local Government Association.
  • National workshops on outcome areas and indicator themes.
  • Discussion with the Urban Water Reform Committee and National Water Reform Committee.
  • Engagement with the Committee on Aboriginal Water Interests and the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
  • Feedback from State and Territory representatives.

Feedback from the review demonstrated unambiguous support for the NPR framework, and that the performance data it collects is important and valued by a broad range of stakeholders. Key review findings were:

  • The scope of the framework indicator set should focus on core areas of service provider performance and not be expanded to capture data of broader water sector performance.
  • A requirement to align indicators with outcomes delivered by service providers through the adoption of updated outcome areas, reporting themes and subthemes.
  • The adoption of a proposed new NPR indicator suite.
  • The expansion of the NPR framework to all service providers, regardless of their number of connections.
  • A requirement to update to the current NPR data quality and audit framework.

The Bureau has examined the impact of the proposed changes on the Bureau reporting data portal, historical data, and the ability to analyse trends, other Regulatory reporting requirements, and impacts to existing and new data providers.

The Bureau is briefing the Urban Water Reform Committee mid-September on the review and its plan for implementing recommendations for Committee sign off. This includes the review's recommendations, proposed timeline for implementation, resources and funding requirements, and any matters outstanding at the end of the NPR review for Urban Water Reform Committee decision and prioritisation.

A preliminary assessment of the expected changes to reporting requirements sees no changes to the current reporting year 2021/22 with the current data reporting timeframe already underway. As a data provider, the first changes to the NPR reporting framework, the removal of agreed upon indicators, is likely to occur in the 2022/23 reporting year. The Bureau will ensure that all reporting requirements and any changes to them are clearly communicated through the timely provision of an updated NPR reporting handbook.

The Bureau is committed to ongoing and transparent engagement and consultation as it works towards implementing the NPR review. We will provide updates when available through the communication channels established during the review process and our website.

If you would like to know more about the review or for any further questions or information, please contact us at or go to

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