Metering requirements and specifications

Metering thresholds and rules

Use our interactive metering tool to understand if the metering rules apply to your works and what you need to do to comply with the rules.

Pattern-approved meter requirements

All meters installed after 1 April 2019 need to be pattern-approved. This applies to new installations and replacing an existing meter.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has published an updated list of pattern approved non-urban water meters in November 2019.

Maintenance requirements

The Maintenance Specifications 2019 set out the maintenance that needs to be carried out in relation to metering equipment, the frequency of maintenance and whether the maintenance needs to be carried out by a duly qualified person or if it can be carried out by the holder of the approval or licence.

These maintenance requirements apply to all meters from the metering roll-out date, and they apply now to any new or replacement meter installed on or after 1 April 2019.

Telemetry and data logger requirements

Surface water pumps 500mm and above need to have telemetry installed from 1 December 2020. All other metered surface water works (except pumps less than 200 mm) need to have telemetry installed by the regional roll-out date.

Following a competitive procurement process, the department engaged to develop a data acquisition service (DAS) to collect water data from water users with telemetry.

A number of telemetry devices are currently being tested for compatibility with the functional and security requirements of the DAS. An initial list of compatible devices will be published soon and we expect this list will be regularly updated as further testing is completed.

The DAS will ‘go live’ by 31 March 2020, to give enough time for water users and duly qualified people to get ready for 1 December 2020, when around 1257 approved surface water pumps 500mm and above will need to have telemetry.

Data collected by the DAS will assist the Natural Resources Access Regulator, WaterNSW and the Department to undertake compliance and enforcement, billing and other water management activities.

Read more about telemetry.

Faulty metering equipment

All water users must report faulty metering equipment within 24 hours to WaterNSW. An offence applies for failing to report faulty metering equipment within 24 hours.

Metering equipment includes telemetry. Water users need to report faulty metering equipment (including telemetry) even if it does not affect their water take.

Duly qualified persons

Duly qualified persons, such as certified meter installers and certified practising hydrographers, play a key role in the metering rules.

A duly qualified person is a person with the qualifications, skills and experience to work on metering equipment, as summarised in Attachment E of the policy.

A duly qualified person will be able to advise you on how to comply with the rules and what meter, data logger and telemetry device is right for you.

Water users must use a duly qualified person to carry out certain work in relation to their metering equipment, including installation, certain maintenance requirements, validation and checking the accuracy of an existing meter.

Duly qualified persons must provide water users with the relevant certificate for work performed within seven (7) days of carrying out the work.

Keeping a non-pattern approved meter

Water users with non-pattern approved meters installed before 1 April 2019 can keep their meters if they can demonstrate they are accurate and meet the metering standards.

We are developing a guidance note to help water users and duly qualified persons understand what needs to be done to keep the meter. This guidance note is intended to be read alongside and consistently with the metering regulation.

More information, including links to the reports and certificates that water users need to submit to keep an existing meter.

Tamper Evident Seals

Under the metering rules, metering equipment must have tamper evident seals to show whether the equipment has been interfered with.

Metering equipment includes the meter itself plus any ancillary wiring, pipework, telemetry equipment or apparatus and any supporting structure.

Only duly qualified persons, NRAR officers or WaterNSW staff may install or break a tamper evident seal.

Under the metering rules, the NSW Government has appointed Irrigation Australia Limited (IAL) as the approved provider of all tamper-evident seals.

Only current duly qualified persons can purchase seals from the website and each certified person will need to login to the IAL website using their membership credentials before a purchase can be made.

Exemption for inactive works

Inactive works are not required to have a meter. This applies to both surface and groundwater works.

Before a work will be tagged as inactive, the water user needs to demonstrate the work is not physically capable of taking water.

To register a work as inactive, WaterNSW customers should apply through WaterNSW and local government water authorities and other Department customers should apply through the Natural Resource Access Regulator.