Overview of the non-urban water metering framework

A robust new metering framework to improve the standard and coverage of non-urban water meters across NSW commenced on 1 December 2018.

Licensed water users will be required to install compliant metering equipment on works that meet the metering thresholds, by their roll-out date.

The metering framework includes:

The policy explains the requirements of the new framework. The Act and regulation give legal effect to the new framework.

Latest updates

  • Metering roadshow — Throughout July and August 2019, we conducted a metering roadshow, stopping at 13 locations across regional NSW, as well as an online webinar. For more information about the roadshow, please visit our Metering roadshow page.  The slides from the Metering roadshow presentation are available to view.
  • Proposed amendments — We invite you to provide feedback by 12 August 2019 on minor amendments to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018, mainly relating to reporting requirements for water users. For more information, please visit our Have Your Say page.
  • Metering snapshot — We have released the Non-urban water metering in NSW snapshot 2019, which explains the new metering rules and what we are doing to help water users implement them.
  • New metering guidance tool — We have developed an interactive metering guidance tool to help water users understand if their work needs a meter and the requirements that apply to them.
  • Best-practice guide for non-urban water meters in NSW — The department and Irrigation Australia Limited have produced this guide to assist duly qualified persons and industry to improve the quality of meter installations, validations and maintenance in accordance with the new rules.
  • Accuracy testing — we have engaged Manly Hydraulics Laboratory to provide advice about suitable and cost suitable and cost effective methods for in-situ accuracy testing, for water users who want to keep non-pattern approved meters that were installed before 1 April 2019. We will share this advice as soon as possible.
  • Telemetry system testing — we are undertaking testing to ensure that telemetry devices can connect to our data acquisition service (DAS). This is the system that will collect water take data from water users with telemetry.

Roll-out dates

The metering framework is being rolled out in a staged manner over five years.

Water users will need to ensure that they have compliant metering equipment by the relevant roll-out date, shown below:

Roll-out dates diagram


The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) expects water users to make arrangements well ahead of the roll-out date to bring their equipment into compliance and be able to demonstrate they have made every effort to comply with the new regulations.

NRAR has released a document setting out its compliance approach.

Metering requirements and specifications

Use our interactive metering tool or the lift-out ‘ready reckoner’ at the back of our Non-urban water metering snapshot 2019, to understand if the metering rules apply to your works  and what you need to do to comply with the rules.

Read more about metering requirements or telemetry.

Forms, certificates and fact sheets

Download forms, certificates and fact sheets for water users who are yet to install a meter or have an existing meter.