Metering requirements and specifications
Metering thresholds and rules
Use our interactive metering tool to understand if the metering rules apply to your works and what you need to do to comply with the rules.
Pattern-approved meter requirements
Works that are captured by the new metering rules must be fitted with a pattern-approved meter by their roll-out date, or if an existing meter is replaced or a new meter installed after 1 April 2019.
There are pathways for water users to keep their existing non-pattern approved meters, if they were installed before 1 April 2019.
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) maintains an updated list of pattern approved non-urban water meters
There are now pattern-approved meters for closed conduit works up to 1800 mm in diameter.
The Maintenance Specifications 2019 set out the maintenance that needs to be carried out in relation to metering equipment, the frequency of maintenance and whether the maintenance needs to be carried out by a duly qualified person or if it can be carried out by the holder of the approval or licence.
These maintenance requirements apply to all meters from the metering roll-out date, and they apply now to any new or replacement meter installed on or after 1 April 2019.
Data logging and telemetry requirements
Surface water pumps 500 mm and above need to have compliant telemetry installed from 1 December 2020. All other metered surface water works (except pumps less than 200 mm) need to have compliant telemetry installed by the regional roll-out date. Read more about telemetry
Faulty metering equipment
All water users must report faulty metering equipment within 24 hours to WaterNSW. An offence applies for failing to report faulty metering equipment within 24 hours.
Metering equipment includes telemetry.
Duly qualified persons
Duly qualified persons, such as certified meter installers and certified practising hydrographers, play a key role in the metering rules.
A duly qualified person is a person with the qualifications, skills and experience to work on metering equipment, as summarised in Attachment E of the policy.
A duly qualified person will be able to advise you on how to comply with the rules and what meter, data logger and telemetry device is right for you.
Water users must use a duly qualified person to carry out certain work in relation to their metering equipment, including installation, certain maintenance requirements, validation and checking the accuracy of an existing meter.
Duly qualified persons must provide water users with the relevant certificate for work performed within seven (7) days of carrying out the work.
- To find a certified meter installer in your region visit Irrigation Australia
- To find a certified practising hydrographer visit Australian Hydrographers
Keeping a non-pattern approved meter
There are two pathways for water users to keep their existing non-pattern approved meters, but only if they were installed before 1 April 2019:
- the meter’s manufacturer confirms the meter is within +/-2.5 % accuracy in laboratory conditions and a duly qualified person confirms the meter was validated (that is, installed in accordance with the national standards and the manufacturer’s specifications) within five years before the rollout date, or
- a duly qualified person undertakes in-situ accuracy testing and confirms the meter is within +/-5 % accuracy in the field.
These meters will also need to be fitted with a listed local intelligence device (LID)s and tamper-evident seals and, where applicable, telemetry. More information, including links to the reports and certificates that water users need to submit to keep an existing meter.
Tamper Evident Seals
Under the metering rules, metering equipment must have tamper evident seals to show whether the equipment has been interfered with.
Metering equipment includes the meter itself plus any ancillary wiring, pipework, telemetry equipment or apparatus and any supporting structure.
Only duly qualified persons, NRAR officers or WaterNSW staff may install or break a tamper evident seal.
Under the metering rules, the NSW Government has appointed Irrigation Australia Limited (IAL) as the approved provider of all tamper-evident seals. The supply of tamper evident seals Order was signed on 16 March 2020 and published on this website on 21 April 2020.
Only current duly qualified persons can purchase seals from the website and each certified person will need to login to the IAL website using their membership credentials before a purchase can be made.
Exemption for inactive works
Inactive works are not required to have a meter. This applies to both surface and groundwater works.
Before a work will be tagged as inactive, the water user needs to demonstrate the work is not physically capable of taking water.
To register a work as inactive, WaterNSW customers should apply through WaterNSW and local government water authorities and other Department customers should apply through the Natural Resource Access Regulator.