Effective water management requires accurate and reliable information on the amount of water extracted by water users.
The accurate monitoring of water extraction from NSW rivers and groundwater sources is essential for the fair and equitable sharing of the State's water.
Under the conditions and terms of their licence or approval, water extractors in NSW may be required to have a meter fitted to their extraction works. Metering requirements may vary from area to area and all licence and approval holders should check their conditions statement to familiarise themselves with their specific requirements.
Offences for water metering are different if you have a licence or approval issued under the Water Management Act 2000 or have a licence issued under the Water Act 1912.
I have a licence or approval issued under the Water Management Act 2000. What do I do if my water meter is not operating properly?
It is an offence under the Water Management Act 2000 to take water if your metering equipment is not operating properly or is not operating.
If you have a licence or approval issued under the Water Management Act 2000 and your metering equipment is not working then you must immediately stop taking water. You can not take water until either your metering equipment is working or you have received written authorisation to take water from State Water or NSW Office of Water.
NSW Office of Water application form: Application for an authority to take water while metering equipment is not operating properly or is not operating (PDF 270 KB)
For more information please refer to the Frequently asked questions.
I am in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. What do I do if the water meter installed on my property is not operating properly?
This information applies if you are in the Hawkesbury-Nepean and you have had a meter installed through the Hawkesbury-Nepean Water Metering Project. If the metering equipment is not operating properly you must immediately report this to the Office of Water on 1800 353 104.
You must immediately implement alternative arrangements to measure and record the time and duration that water is taken while the metering equipment is not working. You must do this each time you take water. This information must then be reported to the NSW Office of Water.
The Office of Water will arrange for the meter to be fixed and will contact you to arrange a suitable time.
For more information please refer to the Frequently asked questions.
New metering initiatives in NSW - February 2011
The NSW Government is currently undertaking a pilot scheme to install meters in the upper Murray catchment. Funded by the Australian Government, the new tamper-proof, low maintenance meters will provide accurate, immediate water extraction readings. A business case for a larger program of meter installation throughout the Murray-Darling Basin is currently under consideration by the Australian Government. State Water Corporation will own, operate and maintain all government-installed meters on regulated rivers. The Office of Water will own, operate and maintain all other government-installed meters. Extractors will pay an annual metering charge as determined by IPART – see table of charges below.
In the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, meters have recently been installed as part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River Recovery Project. These meters are not owned by the government as they were installed prior to the commencement of the Water Management (General) Amendment (Metering Equipment) Regulation 2011. However, meters installed in the Hawkesbury-Nepean on or after 4 March 2011 will be owned by the NSW government.
State Water is exclusively responsible for the operation and maintenance of meters it installs on regulated rivers. The Office of Water is exclusively responsible for the operation and maintenance of meters it installs for groundwater and on unregulated rivers. This includes all meters under the Hawkesbury-Nepean project. If you have a government-installed meter that is not operating properly, you should not attempt to repair it. It will be repaired for you by either State Water or the Office of Water and any licence conditions that require you to maintain your meter no longer apply.
Metering requirements for water users who do not yet have a government-installed meter are unchanged. If your meter is not operating properly – whether it is private or government-owned – you must cease pumping and immediately contact the Office of Water or State Water. Information on how to do this is provided above.
National water meter standards
National standards for water meters have been developed under the National Water Initiative, and apply to meters that are installed after 1 July 2010. After that date, new water meters are required to be pattern approved (by the meter manufacture or supplier) in accordance with requirements of the National Measurement Institute, and to be installed and operated in accordance with ATS 4747 of Standards Australia. For additional information refer to the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts National framework for non-urban metering policy paper issued in December 2009.
NSW standards for water extraction
Until the national standards mentioned above are fully operational, NSW Office of Water, in conjunction with State Water, has developed the NSW Interim Water Meter Standards (PDF 90 KB) which set criteria for the supply and installation of water meters. The Interim Standards as far as possible follow and relate to the national standards. The Interim Standards will eventually be replaced by the national standards.
The NSW Water Extraction Monitoring Policy (PDF 142 KB) addresses the use of water meters and other monitoring techniques in NSW.
Meter service and reading charges
Metering charges apply to licence holders work approvals. The charges are payable to the Office of Water and will be invoiced by State Water (on the Office of Water's behalf) in conjunction with water management charges.
Details of metering charges set by IPART for period of 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 are shown in the table below.
Metering charges are exempt from GST.
|Meter service and reading charges 2012/2013
|Meter service and reading charges for government installed meter (corporation meter)
|Mechanical meter – with data logger
|Electromagnetic meter – with data logger
|Electromagnetic meter – with data logger and mobile data modem
|Electromagnetic meter – with data logger and satellite data modem
|Channel meter – with mobile phone or satellite telemetry coverage
|Refundable deposit for assessment of a disputed Corporation meter
|Validation of a relocated Corporation meter
|Channel meter with mobile phone
|Meter Reading charge for a user meter or approved meter equivalent
|User meter or approved meter equivalent
IPART and metering
Under IPART's 2010 determination, licence holders who have an appropriate water meter may apply to be billed for their water management charges on a two-part tariff. If you have a meter, go to Water management > Fees and charges > Two-part tariff for more information.
IPART has set new metering charges for unregulated river and groundwater users to apply from 1 July 2011. Meter service and reading charges apply to government-installed meters (corporation meter). Meter reading charges apply to user-owned meters, which have traditionally been read by State Water Corporation (on behalf of the Office of Water). In setting the charges, IPART has effectively reduced costs to be recovered from water management charges so that users do not pay twice for the activities concerned.