Metering and building a robust compliance framework

Under the Water Reform Action Plan a new agency, the Natural Resources Access Regulator, was established with the responsibility to enforce compliance with NSW water legislation. NSW has committed to the Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact in order to continue strengthening our compliance and enforcement efforts.

A robust non-urban water metering framework is being rolled out across the State and will provide real-time information to resource managers about when and how much water is being taken.

Natural Resources Access Regulator

The Natural Resource Access Regulator has been established as an independent, transparent and effective regulator with carriage of the compliance and enforcement of water management legislation in NSW. Prior to NRAR, these functions were split between the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (then Department of Industry) and WaterNSW.

The principal objectives of the NRAR are:

  • to ensure effective, efficient, transparent and accountable compliance and enforcement measures for the natural resources management legislation
  • to maintain public confidence in the enforcement of the natural resources management legislation.

To achieve this NRAR is:

  • actively engaging with stakeholders, providing assistance when it is sought
  • working diligently on compliance matters
  • proactively informing the community of its actions
  • taking enforcement action when necessary, demonstrating a firm but fair approach.

Improvements in enforcement and compliance across NSW will support better management of environmental water across NSW.

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.

The framework will be implemented through a staged roll-out over five years. The framework will be reviewed after five years to assess its performance against the objectives.

Improvements in metering across NSW will support better management of environmental water across NSW.

Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact (Compact) in December 2018

The NSW Government committed to the Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact (Compact) in December 2018.

This Compact is a collaborative, joint commitment by the Australian Government and Basin States. It ensures that consistent approaches to compliance arrangements and practices across the Basin are adopted.

It focuses on five key themes, one of which is to protect and manage water for the environment.

Water management rules and compliance efforts to enforce them will operate so that held and planned environmental water is protected and managed to achieve the intended environmental outcomes.