Southern Inland water users have less than a week left to start installing compliant non-urban metering equipment to improve the way water is measured and monitored across the state.
Chief Operating Officer for Water Graham Attenborough said regional areas are facing more extreme climate challenges than ever before, highlighting the critical need to manage water supplies efficiently and fairly.
“If we can't measure it, we can’t manage it,” Mr Attenborough said.
“The 1 June deadline is fast approaching, and landowners in the Southern Inland region have a real opportunity to take proactive steps to help the NSW Government secure a better water future for the next generation.
"We started roadshows 18 months ago to help people get up to speed about what is needed to meet the new requirements.”
The Department of Planning and Environment has delivered face-to-face information sessions in Albury, Denilquin, Broken Hill, Griffith, Dareton, Forbes, Cootamundra, Tumut, Mildura, Condobolin, Yanco, Cowra, and Wagga Wagga, along with 14 online sessions.
“We appreciate there is a lot to digest when new rules come into place, which is why landowners were given an extra six months to get onboard after facing record rainfall and flooding in 2022,” Mr Attenborough said.
“We understand a lot of farmers and irrigators have already begun to install new or replacement meters which is great news, but there is an expectation that everyone takes steps to become compliant.
“The deadline is just days away, so if you haven’t already got an approved meter up and running, you will need to demonstrate that you’ve contacted one of our metering experts and locked in a time for installation.
“If the cost of new metering equipment is a barrier to becoming compliant, there are several programs that can help farmers offset the cost, including a telemetry rebate program that provides a $975 rebate to water users’ accounts for each meter they connect to the telemetry system.
“There is also the Instant Asset Write-Off which enables farmers to deduct the full purchase price of assets up to $150,000 from their taxable income and the NSW Farm Innovation Fund which provides loans to carry out capital works, along with exemptions for small, low risk works that are used solely to take water under a stock and domestic water access license.
“The Natural Resources Access Regulator will enforce the new requirements and will not hesitate to take compliance action against people who refuse to adhere to them. Those caught flouting the new requirements could face fines or, in extreme cases, prosecution.”
For more information go to: Non-urban metering.