Yes, as part of the NSW Water Strategy (action 1.6) the NSW Government has committed to review the regulation of domestic and stock basic landholder rights.
Yes, a water meter is required for a water bore used to take water under a water access licence and domestic and stock rights, unless an exemption applies. For example, an exemption could apply if the bore’s diameter is below a certain size then an exemption may apply depending on the bore’s
Several reviews into water management have recommended additional rules or requirements for domestic and stock basic landholder rights as a logical next step towards improving water management in NSW.
For example, the Murray–Darling Basin Water Compliance Review noted domestic and stock rights are often poorly understood by water users, there is no requirement to report water take and there is limited compliance action. It recommended that all Basin governments ‘audit water take by stock and domestic and other rights holder to identify areas of stress on water resources from the exercise of these rights, and put in place measures to monitor compliance’.
Furthermore, the Independent Panel Assessment of the Management of the 2020 Northern Basin First Flush Event also recommended that NSW needed a better understanding of volumetric requirements for domestic and stock basic landholder rights so these can be factored into planning and preparation for such events.
Recent droughts have raised further issues around the way water is taken and used under domestic and stock landholder rights during extreme dry periods and resulting water shortages.
The first phase of the review will assess the current situation and usage of rights to understand whether this is creating risks in particular areas or circumstances. This will include consulting with the community on the current rules and requirements, and their understanding and expectations of these rights.
Later phases of the review may assess options for improving understanding of domestic and stock basic landholder rights, and consider whether rules are required to better manage the rights and enhance the regulator’s ability to enforce compliance.
If you would like to be kept informed of updates to the review and opportunities to provide feedback, please email email@example.com