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 - October 2019:

  • Adjusted start dates for metering rules due to severe drought – the NSW Government has announced it will adjust the first three start dates for the new metering rules. The government remains committed to rolling out the metering rules. However the lack of water due to the severe drought conditions will make it impossible for most water users to meet their new obligations by the current deadline.

    The adjusted start dates will be:
    • 1 December 2020 – surface water pumps 500 mm and above - All regions
    • 1 December 2021 – remaining works that require a meter - Northern Inland regions
    • 1 December 2022 – remaining works that require a meter - Southern Inland regions
    • 1 December 2023 – remaining works that require a meter – Coastal regions

See our ‘metering roadshow’ page for more information.

  • Metering roadshow 'what we heard' report published — the Department has published a report summarising the feedback heard during the recent metering roadshow and the immediate steps the Government is taking to respond. The Department, together with the Natural Resources Access Regulator and WaterNSW, stopped at 15 locations across regional NSW, engaged with over 560 stakeholders and received 81 written submissions. See our ‘metering roadshow’ page for more information.
  • Telemetry system will launch by 31 March 2020 — The government’s new telemetry system will go live by 31 March 2020. A number of telemetry devices are currently undergoing testing and the department will publish an initial list of compatible devices in November 2019.  This will allow time for water users with works that need to be compliant by 1 December 2020 to get ready.
  • Scheme for transferring state-owned meters — the Government remains committed to transitioning all state-owned meters to private ownership. It will consult with affected water users on the design of a transfer scheme.
  • Update on pattern approved meters — presently there are no pattern approved closed conduit meters for size ranges above 1200mm. However there are meters in these size ranges that are currently undergoing testing for pattern approval, both in Australia and overseas. We will continue to monitor this situation closely.

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 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.