Metering and building a robust compliance framework

We established the Natural Resources Access Regulator, progressing commitments in the Water Reform Action Plan and have committed to the Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact to strengthen our compliance and enforcement efforts.

Water Reform Action Plan

The Water Reform Action Plan ensures that NSW’s takes a fair and transparent approach to managing water for current and future generations. It is NSW response to the independent investigation into NSW water management and compliance conducted by Ken  Matthews AO and the Murray Darling Basin Water Compliance Review. The Water Reform Action Plan outlines how the government will ensure that identified problems are addressed. It contains forty (40) discrete actions that the NSW Government has undertaken to ensure delivery of its responsibility to ensure that NSW has an equitable and transparent approach to the management of water. It includes actions to better manage environment water.  View updates on the progress towards implementing the WRAP.

Natural Resources Access Regulator

The NSW Government set up the Natural Resources Access Regulator and the Water Reform Action Plan in December 2017.

Both NRAR and the WRAP were set up in response to the Independent investigation into NSW water management and compliance, by Ken Matthews, AO (the Matthews Report) and the Murray–Darling Basin Water Compliance Review (MDB Compliance Review).

The Natural Resource Access Regulator was established as an independent, transparent and effective regulator with total carriage of the compliance and enforcement of water management legislation in NSW.

Prior to NRAR, these functions were split between the Department of Industry and WaterNSW.

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


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.