A NSW Government website

Water metering

Guidelines for water metering

Water is a precious resource that needs to be properly managed for current and future generations. The new water metering rules were introduced to bring about real and positive change in water management in NSW.

The new framework of rules will significantly improve the standard and number of water meters in rural NSW by setting clear rules about who needs a meter and the standards that need to be met. The standards require that meters are accurate, tamper-proof and auditable.

Metering equipment requirements

Since 1 April 2019 all new and replacement meters installed on works that are covered by the metering rules must be ‘pattern-approved’, installed by a duly qualified person (DQP) in accordance with Australian Standard 4747, and have a compatible local intelligence device (LID) with tamper-evident seals.

What is a DQP?

A duly qualified person is someone with the qualifications, skills and experience to carry out certain work in relation to metering equipment. Their role is to ensure your metering equipment is installed and operating properly.

What does pattern-approved mean?

The National Measurement Institute of Australia is responsible for assessing meters against national standards and ensuring they do what the manufacturer claims. Each pattern-approved meter is issued with a certificate of pattern approval. This process ensures that meters are accurate and fit for purpose. The Murray–Darling Basin Authority has a list of pattern-approved, non-urban water meters, which is updated regularly as more meters become pattern-approved.

Demonstrating your compliance

Under the new metering rules you will need to submit certain forms and certificates to WaterNSW to demonstrate you are complying with the rules. What you need to submit varies, depending on whether you are:

  • installing a new or replacement meter
  • installing a new open channel meter, or
  • wishing to keep an existing meter that was installed before 1 April 2019.

Your DQP will need to complete most forms and certificates, and submit them to WaterNSW on your behalf via the DQP Portal.

DQP Portal

The DQP portal is used to generate:

  • a validation certificate to notify the water user that the meter installation is compliant
  • a certificate of compliance for new open channel metering equipment installed after 1 April 2019
  • accuracy reports for existing meters being kept under transitional arrangements.

You must keep any documents which are emailed to you from the DQP Portal for at least five years.


Telemetry is the automatic recording and transmission of data collected from a remote point to a receiver at another location. A cornerstone of NSW’s new water metering rules is the use of telemetry to securely transmit data about water extraction from a meter to the necessary government departments and the Natural Resources Access Regulator. This data enables NRAR, WaterNSW and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to undertake compliance, enforcement, billing and other water management activities.

Under the new metering rules, all surface water supply works, except for pumps below 200mm, must be fitted with an accurate meter and a compatible local intelligence device (LID). They must also be connected to the government’s data acquisition system (DAS), all by the relevant roll out date. A LID, such as a telemetry-enabled data logger, is what transmits the metering data. Visit a list of compatible LIDs.

Water users can access their transmitted data via a private online dashboard, and will be notified when their equipment is not operating properly.

All other metered surface water pumps between 100 and 199 mm and groundwater works must still have compatible LIDs installed by the regional rollout date. The LIDs for these works do not need to be connected to the government’s data acquisition service but will need to be accessed by WaterNSW annually.

Recording and reporting processes

You need to record and report on your water take and other information from your relevant rollout date. This table outlines what you need to record and report, and how often, depending on the type of metering equipment you are required to use under the new rules.

 Record within 24 hoursReport before 28 July every yearReport within 14 days after the end of each month
Works not required to meter
  • Licensed water take
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*
  • Water taken according to conditions
  • Licensed water take
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*
Not required
Works required to meter – but without telemetry
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*
  • Water taken according to conditions

Licensed water take is automatically reported by LID

Not required
  • Meter read
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*

WaterNSW downloads LID data annually

Works required to meter with telemetry
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*
  • Water taken according to conditions

Licensed water take is automatically recorded by LID

Not required
  • Water take under BLR or licence exemption*

Licensed water take is automatically recorded by LID

*BLR – basic landholder rights. Only if the work is used to take both licensed water and water under BLR or other licence exemption.

While meters with telemetry will automatically report water take data, information about what the water was used for - and confirmation it was taken legally - will need to be recorded and kept for five years for auditing purposes.

If your meter is not connected to telemetry, access must be provided on an annual basis to WaterNSW staff so they can download the LID data.

Maintenance requirements

Under the new rules, some maintenance of your meter and LID must be undertaken by a duly qualified person (DQP). The Maintenance Specifications 2019 sets out the maintenance requirements for metering equipment, including frequency and who can perform maintenance. These requirements apply to new or replacement meters installed from 1 April 2019 and all meters from the relevant rollout date.

Faulty meter requirements

If your metering equipment is not working properly or has stopped working altogether, you must notify WaterNSW within 24 hours of becoming aware of the issue, even if you are not taking water at that time.

Use the online reporting form to log the fault. You must arrange for the metering equipment to be repaired or replaced within 21 days, or formally request an extension if you are unable to fix the fault in that timeframe.

Online reporting form

You must keep records while the metering equipment is being repaired, according to the faulty meter process. Once your equipment is repaired/replaced, you will need to submit all relevant documents to WaterNSW within 28 days, including water take data and validation certificate.

Ongoing validation

Metering equipment must be validated on installation, at five-yearly intervals (or every 12 months in the case of open channels), and in any other circumstances in which validation is required under the Australian Standard 4747. An example of this would be any maintenance work that affects the ability of the meter to collect accurate data.

Water metering guidance tool

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has created a water metering guidance tool to help water users determine if they are required to comply with the new metering rules. It consists of a series of short questions and should take less than five minutes to complete.

For detailed advice on the metering terms and conditions in your licence or approval and what you need to do to comply, please contact WaterNSW as the licensor.