Previous community consultation

Metering roadshow 2019

In July and August 2019, the Department of Planning Industry and Environment – together with the Natural Resources Access Regulator and WaterNSW – held a ‘metering roadshow’ which stopped at 15 locations across regional NSW, as well as an online public webinar. We spoke to more than 560 stakeholders and received 81 submissions from a range of stakeholders including irrigation and rural industry groups, irrigators, farmers, community members and environmental groups.

The Metering Roadshow – What We Heard report summarises the feedback we heard.

In October 2019, the Government announced it would adjust the start dates for the metering rules due to a lack of water in the severe drought conditions, in response to feedback heard.

In addition to adjusting the metering start dates, some other minor changes have been made to the metering rules, informed by feedback received during the metering roadshow. A summary of the changes is below. View the [amendment regulation.]

1. Adjusted start dates for metering rules

The first three start dates for the metering rules have been adjusted. The adjusted start dates are:

  • 1 December 2020 - for surface water pumps 500mm 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.

There is no change to the 1 December 2023 date which applies to remaining works that require a meter in the Coastal regions. This means NSW will still achieve a full rollout of the metering rules by 1 December 2023.

Until the new rollout dates come into effect, water users are expected to comply with their existing metering and recording requirements. The Natural Resources Access Regulator will be on the ground ensuring waters users are obeying the law.

2. Other minor changes to metering rules

These other minor changes to the rules have been made, informed by feedback we heard during the metering roadshow:

  • exemption for ‘inactive' groundwater works – groundwater works that cannot physically take water may now be tagged as inactive , which means they are exempt from the metering rules
  • tamper evident seals – all seals used on metering equipment must be obtained from Irrigation Australia Limited, and seals may only be fixed or broken by a duly qualified person, an authorised officer or WaterNSW
  • recording and reporting – these requirements have been streamlined and gaps in reporting requirements addressed by imposing a new mandatory condition for water users with meters but no telemetry to report on their water take, and for reporting by water users with meters on take of water under basic landholder rights. The recording and reporting start dates have also been aligned with the metering start dates
  • exemption for works not nominated by an access licence – the metering rules will not apply to works that are not nominated by an access licence. This will ensure that works that don’t take water but simply move it on a property are not required to be metered.

We have also introduced new timeframes for duly qualified persons to provide information – duly qualified persons must provide water users with certificates of validation, design or accuracy check within 7 days of completing the work. They also need to report any observed meter tampering within 7 days.

3. The requirement for a duly qualified person to install metering equipment has not been removed

The proposed change to remove the requirement that only a duly qualified person (DQP) may install metering equipment has not been made. This means only DQPs may install metering equipment.

During consultation there was no strong support for changing the requirement that DQPS install metering equipment. Some stakeholders strongly opposed the proposed change due to the risk that poor installation could result in water users paying extra to fix errors in order to obtain validation certificates and that self-installation could compromise the integrity of the validation process.

More information

Draft metering framework consultation 2018

In August and September 2018 we conducted community consultation to seek feedback on a draft metering framework and draft regulation. We released a consultation paper presenting the draft framework, which included a number of questions seeking feedback on aspects of the draft framework.

The public exhibition period ran from 27 August to 30 September. We hosted a series of community events and attended stakeholder meetings in a number of locations around NSW. We also conducted targeted consultation on the duly qualified person requirements and maintenance specifications.

More information

Technical Forum 2018

In early August 2018, the government convened an Industry Technical Forum to seek advice on the technical and operational aspects of the proposed metering policy and regulation, particularly telemetry, data requirements and options for in-situ verification of meters. Participants included water users, meter and telemetry manufacturers and installers, and academics with expertise in hydraulic engineering, data and telecommunications.

The technical forum report provides a summary of the issues discussed at the forum.

Water Reform Action Plan (metering and measurement) consultation 2018

In December 2017, the NSW Government released the Water Reform Action Plan setting out its commitment to deliver fair and transparent water management for the state. Implementing a robust metering framework was a cornerstone of the plan.

As part of the water reforms being introduced, the NSW Government released consultation papers for community feedback, including a paper on Water take measurement and metering.

The NSW Department of Industry consulted on the proposed water reforms (which included options for measurement and metering) across the state between 13 March and 15 April 2018 at 20 consultation events. These meetings gave local people the opportunity for detailed discussions with senior and technical departmental staff on the policy options in the consultation papers and to provide feedback. A wide range of stakeholders provided feedback during the consultation process and we received over 250 submissions.

An Exposure Bill, the draft Water Management Amendment Bill 2018, was also released as an example of the mechanisms that could be enacted to enable key elements of the reform.

A wide range of stakeholders provided feedback during the consultation process, including Commonwealth, state and local government agencies, industry peak bodies, agricultural representative groups, water-user representative groups, Aboriginal organisations, environmental groups, irrigator corporations, water infrastructure providers, manufacturers and installers, small and large-scale farm owners, agricultural finance providers, fisheries groups, private landholders and members of the general public.

In June 2018, the government released a Community consultation—what we heard report summarising what we heard from the community consultation. The key messages that emerged from the consultation in relation to metering were:

  • strong stakeholder support for metering the large majority of water take
  • the policy should recognise the different water management risks and issues along the coast and inland
  • support for staged roll-out of reforms and transitional arrangements for existing meters
  • a range of views on who should own the meters and a call for funding support if meters are to be privately owned.

More information

Enquiries

Email water.reform@industry.nsw.gov.au if you have any enquiries.