Overview of the non-urban water metering framework

A robust metering framework to improve the standard and coverage of non-urban water meters across NSW commenced on 1 December 2018.

Licensed water users will be required to install compliant metering equipment on works that meet the metering thresholds, by their roll-out date.

The metering framework includes:

The policy explains the requirements of the new framework. The Act and regulation give legal effect to the new framework.

Supply of metering equipment and installers in NSW

As of 25 August 2021.

Metering equipment and installersStatistics
Number of certified meter installers in NSW

Source: Irrigation Australia Limited
Number of pattern-approved meters available in NSW

Source: Murray Darling Basin Authority
Number of local intelligence devices available in NSW

Source: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Indicative lead time for supply of pattern approved meters

Source: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment supplier survey
up to 6 weeks
Indicative lead time for supply of local intelligence devices

Source: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment supplier survey
up to 6 weeks

Roll-out dates

The metering framework is being rolled out in a staged manner over five years.

Water users will need to ensure that they have compliant metering equipment by the relevant roll-out date, shown below:

Roll-out dates diagram

Non-urban water metering in NSW leaflet

What water users need to know

We encourage water users to read this leaflet PDF, 3836.79 KB with information you need to know about the metering rules, including:

  • whether the rules apply to you
  • what you need to do by your ‘rollout date’
  • what you need to do on an ongoing basis

NRAR compliance approach

NRAR has also published its compliance approach PDF, 198.17 KB to the metering regulations. NRAR has outlined its expectations of water users and described its approach to enforcing the metering rules, including in situations where a person cannot comply because of issues beyond their control.

Domestic and stock metering exemption

The NSW Government intends to make changes to the non-urban metering rules to exempt small licenced domestic and stock water users from the need for a meter. This exemption will ensure that the metering rules apply consistently to small, low-risk works that only take water for domestic and stock purposes, regardless of whether the water is taken under a licence or a basic landholder right.

This exemption will only apply to pumps less than 100 mm or bores less than 200 mm that:

  • are used solely to take water under a domestic and stock water access licence, other than for town water supply
  • do not take water from the ‘at-risk’ groundwater sources prescribed in Schedule 9 of the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018
  • are not on properties with other works captured by the metering rules.

Water users that are exempt can still voluntarily install a meter to take advantage of the two-part telemetry service charge tariff.

The NSW Government will make changes to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 to implement this exemption and will notify affected water users.

The temporary exemption will end on 1 December 2024. The exemption will be reviewed as part of the statutory review of the non-urban metering rules in 2024.

See Stock and Domestic FAQs for more information.