New metering rules for NSW water users

Media release | 4 December 2018

The NSW Government has announced the release of a robust new metering framework to measure and meter non-urban water take in NSW, which commenced last weekend on 1 December.

The new metering requirements apply to licensed water take from across the State. Under the new framework, where water take can be measured, and other thresholds are met, an accurate, tamper-proof meter must be installed.

Emma Solomon, Group Director Water Renewal Taskforce with the NSW Department of Industry - Water said the framework is a commitment under the NSW Government’s Water Reform Action Plan and testament to the government’s commitment to transparency in best-practice water management.

“We are reforming water management in NSW. This framework is a significant step forward for NSW as leaders in water management and regulation.

“Metering ensures sustainable, equitable and efficient allocation of water for communities, local economies and for the environment. Under the new rules, if works are above the thresholds or in “at risk” groundwater sources then they must be metered,” she said. Additionally, telemetry will be mandatory for all surface water works 200 mm or larger.

From 1 April 2019, all new and replacement meters must be pattern-approved and installed by a qualified person. They will also be required to have tamper-evident seals and data loggers.

Water users with works that meet the infrastructure size or multiple works thresholds, who wish to keep their existing meters, will need to confirm their meters are pattern-approved and validated, or meet the accuracy requirements, by their roll-out date. They will also need to install a data logger and tamper evident seals.

The new metering requirements will take effect in a staged manner over five years.

Ms Solomon said, “The staged roll-out aims to ensure the largest water users in NSW are metered and telemetered within a year of the metering requirements commencing.”

The roll-out dates of the new metering requirements are:

  • Stage 1: Surface water users with 500 mm pumps or larger must meet the requirements by 1 December 2019.
  • Stage 2: Remaining users in northern inland regions by 1 December 2020.
  • Stage 3: Remaining users in southern inland regions by 1 December 2021.
  • Stage 4: Remaining users in the coastal regions by 1 December 2023.

More information regarding the NSW water metering framework, including the regulation and policy, is available on the Department’s website