Metering

Metering

Water meters are the key tool for measurement and monitoring of water usage in NSW. Accurate metering is essential for fairness and equity of water sharing between users.

The NSW Government’s new non-urban water metering framework came into effect in December 2018 and is being implemented through a staged roll-out over five years.

To help you understand the new metering rules, please refer to the following resources from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) for more information:

If you are currently using a government-owned meter, we will be in contact with further information ahead of your rollout date.

Overview of roll-out dates

From 1 April 2019, the following requirements came into effect under the NSW Government's new metering rules.

New and replacement meters:

If you need to replace your meter prior to your rollout date, you need to have it installed and certified by a duly qualified person (DQP) and ensure it is:

  • pattern approved
  • installed with tamper proof seals
  • has an approved local intelligence device (LID).

Faulty meters:

  • Regardless of your rollout date, if you have a faulty meter, you need to report it to us within 24 hours using our online self reporting form. You then have 21 days to get it repaired or replaced. You can apply for an extension if you cannot get the meter repaired or replaced within the original 21 days.

Inactive works and amending pump size:

It is your responsibility to check your work approval. You will need to make sure what is listed on the approval matches what is installed at site. What is listed on the approval determines your compliance obligations.

This applies to water users with surface water pumps 500 mm and above across NSW regardless of your location.

By 1 December 2020, you will need to have your metering equipment installed and certified by a duly qualified person (DQP) and ensure that it is:

  • pattern approved
  • installed with tamper proof seals
  • has an approved local intelligence device (LID)
  • connected to telemetry.

By 1 December 2021, all remaining works in the northern inland regions will need to comply with the new rules.

You will need to have your metering equipment installed and certified by a duly qualified person (DQP) and ensure that it is:

  • pattern-approved
  • installed with tamper proof seals
  • has an approved local intelligence device (LID).
  • for surface water, connected to telemetry if any works on the works approval contains a pump size greater than 200mm.

The following groundwater sources are included in the 1 December 2021 regional rollout date:

  • NSW Great Artesian Basin Groundwater Sources
  • Northern Western Unregulated and Fractured Rock Water Sources
  • NSW Great Artesian Basin Shallow Groundwater Sources
  • NSW Murray–Darling Basin Fractured Rock Groundwater Sources
  • NSW Murray–Darling Basin Porous Rock Groundwater Sources

There are a number of “at risk” groundwater sources where all approval holders will need to install a meter or make their works inactive irrespective of pump size.

By 1 December 2022, all remaining works in the southern inland regions will need to comply with the new rules.

You will need to have your metering equipment installed and certified by a duly qualified person (DQP) and ensure that it is:

  • pattern-approved
  • installed with tamper proof seals
  • has an approved local intelligence device (LID)
  • for surface water, connected to telemetry if any works on the works approval contains a pump size greater than 200mm.

There are a number of “at risk” groundwater sources where all approval holders will need to install a meter or make their works inactive irrespective of pump size.

By 1 December 2023, all remaining works in the coastal regions will need to comply with the new rules.

You will need to have your metering equipment installed and certified by a duly qualified person (DQP) and ensure that it is:

  • pattern-approved
  • installed with tamper proof seals
  • has an approved local intelligence device (LID). (link to section of webpage)
  • for surface water, connected to telemetry if any works on the works approval contains a pump size greater than 200mm.

There are a number of “at risk” groundwater sources where all approval holders will need to install a meter or make their works inactive irrespective of pump size.


Metering information

All works required to comply under the new metering rules will need to be fitted with a pattern-approved meter by your rollout date.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has published a list of pattern approved non-urban water meters (PDF).

It may be possible to keep your existing meter if it was installed before 1 April 2019. DPIE has information on their website on the requirements to keep your existing meter.

You will need to follow these steps if your metering equipment is not working properly:

1. Report the faulty meter to us within 24 hours using our online self reporting form.

  • You will need to specify how the water extracted will be measured whilst the metering equipment is faulty and report it in a log book we will provide you once you have submitted the form.
  • Failure to self report within 24 hours is a breach of the Water Management Act 2000 and will be referred to the Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR).

2. Repair or replace the metering equipment within 21 days and have it certified by a DQP.

3. Submit a completion form within 28 days including:

  • the log book used to record the water taken whilst the metering equipment was faulty
  • a copy of the validation certificate completed by the DQP
  • up to two photos of the new or repaired metering equipment.

DQPs are trained to install metering equipment and ensure it is working correctly.

They can also give you advice on the best metering equipment to use for your situation and help you understand how to comply with the new metering rules.

You must use a DQP to install and validate your metering equipment.

To find a certified meter installer in your region, visit Irrigation Australia Limited’s website.

To find a certified practising hydrographer, visit the Australian Hydrographer Association’s website.

DQP portal:

The DQP portal is a WaterNSW website where your DQP will complete and submit the forms and certificates required to show that your metering equipment is compliant with the new rules.

If you are a DQP, please refer to the following resources for assistance:

A local intelligence device (LID) uses telemetry to transmit metering data from your meter to DPIE, NRAR and WaterNSW using a secure cloud-based data acquisition service (DAS).

LIDs:

Surface water works, with the exception of pumps below 200mm, need to be fitted with a compatible LID under the new metering rules.

The current status of LIDs can be found on DPIE’s website. Contact a DQP to discuss your LID requirement.

WaterNSW is paying telemetry charges until 30 June 2021. Contact us for more information on how this applies to you at 1300 662 077.

DAS:

The DAS is a cloud-based data acquisition service run by WaterNSW that collects and stores data received from compatible LIDs.

The information collected will be used across agencies including NRAR, DPIE and WaterNSW to undertake compliance and enforcement, billing and other water management activities.

Water users will also be able to access their information on a secure dashboard.

If you are not using your work, you can make it inactive to be exempt from the new metering rules. Once inactive, you will not be able to use your work to take any water including basic landholder rights.

Please note that unregulated and groundwater customers will be billed on a one-part tariff once the work is made inactive.

To make a work active again, you will need to provide evidence that your work is metered in accordance with the regulatory requirements - the meter must be pattern-approved and installed by a DQP.

It is your responsibility to check your approval to make sure it matches the works listed.

If your pump size is different to what is listed on your approval, you will need to change it to the correct size to ensure you are compliant with the new metering rules.

New recording and reporting requirements will go into effect on your relevant rollout date.

Meters connected to a LID will automatically record water take.

If the LID is connected to telemetry, the data will automatically be sent to us, but you will still need to keep a record of information about what the water was used for and be able to confirm it was taken legally for five years.

If your LID is not connected to telemetry you will need to self report your usage (with photographic) evidence every month. You will also need to report and water taken for BLR through licensed works either via the online portal or manually using the recording and reporting form.

If you do not have a meter or your meter is not connected to a LID, you will need to keep a record of your water take and provide the data to us each year either via our online portal or manually using the recording and reporting form.

Until your rollout date, you must continue to comply with your current recording and reporting requirements, including keeping existing logbooks for five years.

For more information on recording and reporting requirements, see page 12 of DPIE’s metering leaflet.

The NSW Government has listened to feedback from water users and decided that WaterNSW will retain ownership of existing government-owned meters.

We are committed to ensuring these meters are compliant under the government's non-urban metering framework.

If you are currently using a government-owned meter, we will be in contact with further information ahead of your rollout date.

Government-owned meters were installed as part of the NSW metering scheme and are subject to a metering service charge to cover the cost of operation and maintenance in accordance with the national metering standards.

Accuracy:

  • If you have a concern about the accuracy of your meter, please call our Customer Service Centre on 1300 662 077 or your local customer field officer.
  • If you elect to have your meter tested, a deposit is payable prior to testing.
  • The deposit will be refunded in full should your meter prove to be inaccurate.

All regulated river licence holders need to place a water order before water can be pumped.

Any water extracted from your pump, as determined by your meter reading, will need to be linked to a relevant water order.


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