Non-urban water metering refers to water taken from regulated rivers, unregulated rivers and groundwater systems under a water access licence, where the take can be measured by a meter.
If you can’t measure and monitor it, you can’t manage it.
The non-urban water metering framework became law in December 2018 with staged deadlines for installing compliant equipment rolling out over six years, until 1 December 2024. The next rollout date is for water users in the Southern Inland who must have compliant equipment installed by 1 June 2023.
If you are captured by the non-urban metering rules and you are installing a new or replacement meter - your new meter must be compliant, regardless of your rollout date.
1 April 2019
New and replacement
1 December 2020
Surface water pumps 500mm and above
1 December 2021
Inland Northern regions
1 June 2023
Inland Southern regions
1 December 2024
Eastern and Coastal NSW regions
The framework is based on national non-urban metering standards, agreed by all Australian states and territories in 2009.
Under these rules, about 95 per cent of licensed water take capacity will need to be fitted with accurate, auditable and tamper evident meters.
While many water users already use meters to record their water take, these rules apply a consistent standard to all to help ensure that we know how much water is being taken and whether it is being taken according to the rules.
The metering framework includes the:
- NSW Non-Urban Water Metering Policy (the policy): explains what water users need to do according to the new framework. It has been updated to reflect the government’s August 2020 decision to retain government-owned meters.
- metering-related provisions of the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 (the regulation)
- metering-related provisions of the Water Management Act 2000: together with the regulation, the Act gives legal effect to the new framework.
Water users will need to ensure that they have compliant metering equipment by the relevant rollout date. Download the leaflet.
What water users need to know
Learn more about the requirements of the metering rollout for water users.
What duly qualified persons need to know
Information for DQPs about their role in the non-urban metering framework, and where to find help if needed.
What suppliers of metering equipment need to know
Information for suppliers of meters and telemetry devices about how to submit devices for approval.
Read more about the history of non-urban water metering in our document library.
Floodplain harvesting measurement
The NSW Government is also implementing rules for measuring floodplain harvesting, based on its Floodplain harvesting measurement policy.
Floodplain Harvesting Measurement Policy (PDF, 2270.23 KB)
Read more on floodplain harvesting measurement.