The Daily Advertiser

Water regulator checking metering compliance in southern inland

A NRAR officer inspecting a meter. Picture supplied
A NRAR officer inspecting a meter. Picture supplied

This is branded content from NRAR.

Water users in the southern inland area of NSW were due to comply with the non-urban metering rules by June 1, 2023.

Many works that take irrigation water must comply, including surface pumps 100mm and above and bores 200mm and above in the Lower Darling, Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan regions and some at-risk groundwater sources.

Pumps 100mm and above and bores 200mm and above needed to install accurate meters that have been independently validated by a certified meter installer. These meters must be fitted with an intelligence device, and some also require telemetry.

With the deadline passed, the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is checking the compliance status of high-volume water users in the region. As a risk-based regulator, NRAR focuses its efforts to enforce compliance on high-risk users that may have the greatest impact. This helps to prevent or reduce the most potential harm to water sources and the environments and communities that depend on them.

If you aren't following the rules, NRAR will know about it. Make sure you have accurate metering equipment in place and have met your compliance requirements.

Some water users have faced barriers to compliance such as shipping delays and limited duly qualified person (DQP) availability. The Department of Planning and Environment are currently reviewing the non-urban metering policy to address barriers to compliance, with the outcome expected to be announced by the end of the year.

NRAR is a firm but fair regulator. If a licence holder has faced challenges in complying by their deadline and can show evidence of their efforts to comply, it will take that into consideration.

Water users can follow these three steps to understand their compliance obligations:

1. Check your licence and approval details on the NSW Water Register to see what is listed and whether there are any existing metering conditions that you need to comply with now. WaterNSW can assist you to amend your approval if you need to update any details, including the size of your installed pump or to make your work inactive.

2. Use the NSW Government's online metering guidance tool to see if and how the rules apply to you.

3. If the rules apply to you, contact a duly qualified person (DQP), such as a certified meter installer (CMI) to discuss your situation. They can advise you about what equipment you need and order, install and validate it. A list of DQPs can be found on Irrigation Australia's website.

To learn more about the rules and how to comply, visit NRAR's metering page.