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Ordering water

Ordering water

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Your daily orders help us calculate daily releases from dams across NSW. When you order water in advance, it takes into account the number of lead days it takes for water to travel from the dam to the pump site.

To help you with placing orders, consult the following:

For water account management:

Water orders determine to which access licence usage is debited.

Every time a meter reading is recorded against a works approval in the Water Accounting System (iWAS), the system looks for water orders that have been placed on access licences linked to that particular works approval.

To ensure your water is debited against the correct access licence, you need to place your orders on the access licence you want debited.

For daily river operation:

Water orders help to calculate releases from the dam on a daily basis and ensure your water arrives on time.

By ordering water, river operators can see what is needed to meet customer requirements from day to day This means that water is kept in the dam longer and not lost at the end of the river system. Accurate water ordering reduces end- of- system losses that impact future available water determinations.

There are many elements involved in daily calculation of water delivery along a river. Transmission losses, evaporation losses, weather forecasts and water orders are just some of the factors the Water Delivery team consider in assessing daily flow requirements.

Water ordering ensures water is delivered to customers in a timely, efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

For licence condition compliance:

Customers are required to place water orders according to the conditions of their water access licence. Travel times vary depending on your position along the river. It is necessary to allow for travel times (lag days or lead days) when requesting water to be released for your needs.

When a volume of water is taken without an approved water order, then a penalty of up to five times the volume of water may be imposed under the Water Management Act (2000). Since a failure to order water is a breach of a licence condition, there is also the possibility that you may be prosecuted by DPI Water.

A number of details are required to ensure a water order is a complying water order.

An online water order form has been developed to assist customers and outlines all the  required information needed to ensure your water order is complying.

Details required for a complying water order are:

  • Access licence holder’s name. This is the name of the  person/company that the access licence was registered in.
  • Access licence number. The licence number contains the  letters "AL" in it, ie. 70AL, 80AL, 90AL etc. Access licences can  have a variety of categories including general security, high security or supplementary. Supplementary licences can only be ordered against when a supplementary event has been announced by DPI Water.
  • Works approval licence number. The licence number that contains  "CA" or "WA". A works approval is the licence number allocated to your pump site. You can link a number of works approvals to an access licence. By linking access licensees to a works approval, you then have the ability to use your available allocation water on any of your linked access  licences through any of your linked works approval. This reduces the need to  apply to move water between your access licences by way of allocation assignments. To find out more about linking multiple access licences to a works  approval contact DPI Water.
  • Extraction site. Customer field officers have been identifying pump sites through the use of “Safe and Clear” signs across NSW. These signs identify the extraction site ID (ESID) of the pump site you wish to use when taking water. These details should be recorded on your water order to  ensure the water is delivered to the right place at the right time.
  • Pumping dates. You must provide the dates you intend to have a pump running. When ordering you must take into account the number of days it takes for the water released from the dam to travel to your  pump site. This is called "lag days" or "lead days". You can provide the date you plan to start and the number of days you intend to keep the pump going or provide the dates and the amount required on each day.  For an order to be complying, the order must not start within the lead days. If you need water earlier than your lag days permit, contact WaterNSW information  centre on 1300 662 077.
  • Current meter readings. You must ensure your meter is working at all times when taking water. The best way to do this is to monitor and record your meter readings at the start and end of each watering. It is advisable to provide the current meter reading to WaterNSW when ordering water. This will ensure that your account has enough water in it to cover the water order. If your metering equipment is not working correctly and you wish to place a water order, you must apply for approval to extract water while your metering equipment is not working via a Section 91i application form (PDF 89 KB).
  • Name, signature and contact details for the person lodging the water order. WaterNSW confirms each water order has been entered and approved. By providing contact details, you can be assured you will receive a confirmation.

Water orders will be returned to you for completion if any of the details above have not been completed or if you do not have enough water in your account to cover the  order.

It is important to complete forms correctly as failure to do so may lead to a delay  in getting your water when you want it.

Your order will be returned if the order has been placed inside the lead days specific to your access licence

The best way to submit your water order is using WaterNSW’s water accounting system (iWAS). You can register for iWAS online or by telephoning our customer helpdesk on 1300 662 077. Placing orders via iWAS are an efficient way to do your business and helps ensure you submit a compliant order.

If you are unable to access iWAS to complete a water order, please download a hardcopy water order form to email or fax back to us (see the form for details).

Make sure you submit your order by 8am to ensure your orders are included in the daily dam release.

Water orders in some valleys can be cancelled or amended. If, for a legitimate reason, you want to cancel or amend your water order, submit your order cancellation or amendment form in the same manner as a water order. Cancellation or amendment of water orders outside the lag days will be processed without delay. Cancellation or amendment of water orders within the lag days will be assessed  and you will be notified of the status of your water order cancellation or amendment on completion of the assessment.

For more information on water ordering see How to order water - fact sheet.

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