Telemetry to support NSW Non-Urban Water Metering Framework

June 2019

Overview

Under NSW’s metering rules, by 2023, at least 4,500 surface water works will need to be fitted with an accurate meter, data logger and a telemetry unit. Around 1257 surface water works will need to be compliant with the rules by 1 December 2019.

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

We are aiming for the DAS to ‘go live’ in mid 2019, to give enough time for water users and duly qualified people to get ready for 1 December 2019, when around 1257 approved surface water pumps 500 mm and above will need an accurate meter, data logger and telemetry, and tamper evident seals.

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

Information for vendors

NSW Government is designing the DAS to be supportive of an open market. This will give water users choice, create opportunities for product vendors and encourage innovation.

Developing compatible field devices

The Department encourages meter, data logger and telemetry manufacturers to develop integrated field solutions that are compatible with the DAS.

The Department has published the following technical standards to allow vendors to develop solutions that are compatible with the DAS:

The Department will publish a list of field solutions are compatible with the DAS’s functional and security requirements on its website before the DAS goes live. This list will help duly qualified persons and water users identify devices that can connect to the DAS.

The Department will update the list as additional solutions are identified, tested and found to be compatible with connecting with the DAS.

If you are a product vendor and want your device to be included on the ‘compatible devices’ list you will need to:

  • Identify an ‘engineered field solution’, inclusive of data logger, telemetry modem, antenna, power supply, cabling, suitable enclosure and security features, that can be pre-assembled and configured for installation in the field.
  • Demonstrate that your solution meets the technical standards in the Data Logging and Telemetry Specifications 2019 and the DAS Logged Data Format Guidelines.
  • Have your field solution tested in laboratory and field conditions.

At present, there are five field solutions undergoing testing. We expect these will soon be published in the list of compatible devices.

The Department has, and will continue to, engage with vendors during the design and rollout of the DAS to give them the opportunity to participate in this new market.

The Department held technical workshops with telemetry and data logger manufacturers in April 2019, and encouraged these manufacturers to develop field solutions that can be tested for compatibility with the DAS. Full details are available in the Non-urban Water Metering Workshop Summary.

Eagle.io and the Department have been working with these vendors to explore aspects of their field solutions.

We are engaging an independent technical expert to engage with manufacturers, assess their proposed field solutions for compatibility with the DAS and advise on opportunities to progress these field solutions. We will publish more information about this process shortly.

In the meantime, if you wish to nominate a solution for the list of ‘compatible devices’ or have any questions, please contact us at water.reform@industry.nsw.gov.au .

Third party telemetry services

It is important that the DAS has sufficient integrity to support compliance, enforcement, and water billing functions. It is also important that the DAS is secure to protect water users from unauthorised access or tampering of metering data for commercial or malicious purposes.

Government recognises that many diligent water users have already installed ‘on-farm’ telemetry systems, supported by third-party providers, to help them monitor and manage water use.

We are engaging an independent expert to help us understand the extent of third party telemetry solutions and how they may be integrated into DAS, and the practical and functional issues that this may involve. We will publish more information about this process as it becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact us at water.reform@industry.nsw.gov.au .

Information for Duly Qualified Persons

We will continue to engage with duly qualified persons (DQPs) throughout the development and rollout of the DAS to ensure they understand what is needed to connect water meters to the DAS.

The Department, together with Irrigation Australia Limited and the Australian Hydrographers Association, held workshops with DQPs in Dubbo, Wagga and Moree in May 2019 to better understand their role under the new metering rules.

The Department will schedule similar workshops in mid-2019, focusing on telemetry and how DQPs can connect field devices to the DAS. We will also shortly publish a step-by-step guide for DQPs to follow to connect meters to the DAS.

If you have any questions, please contact us at water.reform@industry.nsw.gov.au.

Information for water users

Under the new metering rules, you will need telemetry for all of your approved surface water works, except for surface pumps less than 200 mm.

Even if you are not required to have telemetry, you may voluntarily install telemetry equipment and have it connected to the DAS.

You will be able to access the information that is transmitted to the DAS through a private online dashboard. You will also receive notifications when your telemetry system is not transmitting data.

You will need to have telemetry installed by a DQP, such as a certified meter installer or a licensed electrician.

DQPs will also be able to provide you with advice on suitable telemetry systems and telecommunications providers, and provide you with a sim card.

Eagle.io is working with 3G and satellite carriers to ensure that all areas of NSW are capable of connecting to the DAS. We expect that 3G network access will be around $7 per month. We will publish information about the likely costs of satellite network access shortly, but the costs are expected to be similar to the costs of 3G network access.

Please visit NSW non-urban watering metering framework for more information.