Temporary Water Restriction (Lower Darling Regulated River Water Source) Amendment - permit the taking of water for the purposes of testing metering equipment

Reason for Decision

Temporary water restriction (Lower Darling Regulated River Water Source) Amendment Order No.2 2019

Background

On 4 December 2018, a temporary water restriction order (section 324 order) was placed on the Lower Darling Regulated River Water Source. This restriction was necessary in the public interest to cope with water shortage and minimise threat to public health and safety.

Extremely dry conditions have continued. Low inflows combined with above average temperatures and high evapotranspiration rates, means that the Lower Darling remains at Drought Stage 4 - critical water shortage under the NSW Extreme Events Policy. Remaining resources must be dedicated to the highest priority needs including town water supply, stock and domestic and permanent plantings.

Since placing the restrictions on 1 July, it has become evident that the restriction should not apply to the take of small amounts of water for the purposes of testing metering equipment as required under the roll out of new metering requirements. To allow this, the water restriction order has been amended to enable the take of water for testing metering equipment of up to a total of 1ML for pumps larger than 500mm and 0.5ML for all other works. The duly qualified persons testing metering equipment will be required to notify NRAR within 24 hours of any take for testing.

The section 324 order is being amended. The order may be amended or repealed before 30 June 2020.

Reasons for Decision

Temporary water restriction – section 324 amendment

Section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act) allows the Minister or delegate to order that temporary water restrictions within a water source(s) are to have effect for a specified period, if these restrictions are determined to be in the public interest.

Section 43 (2) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that the power to make an order under an Act includes the power to amend the order.

The section 324 order is being amended to allow access to water for testing metering equipment (effective 1 November 2019) to ensure persons have the opportunity to prepare for the commencement of the new metering framework.

Emma Solomon, Acting Executive Director - Policy, Planning and Sciences

30 October 2019