A NSW Government website

Progress and outcomes

Metering compliance reports

NRAR is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the new non-urban water metering rules.

The new metering rules are being rolled out in stages by the NSW Government to better measure water take in the state, make water use fairer, and to build community confidence in water management.

We continue to work closely with WaterNSW and the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (NSW DCCEEW) to raise awareness of the metering rules and educate water users about their obligations.

Visit our metering page to find out more about the new metering rules and if they apply to you.

Compliance rates

We monitor and assess compliance with the metering rules throughout NSW. We then report on the compliance rates every quarter. We use these rates to target our education and enforcement efforts.

Click through to the report dashboards below.

Compliance rates: 2020 group

Compliance results for the 2020 - Large water user group

Deadline: 1 December 2020.

Compliance rates: 2021 group

Compliance results for the 2021 - Northern Inland group.

Deadline: 1 December 2021.

Compliance rates: 2023 group

Compliance results for the 2023 - Southern Inland group.

Deadline: 1 June 2023.

Download our metering fact sheet

Learn more about our compliance approach to metering

Metering regulations - NRAR compliance approach (PDF 188.5KB)

Monitoring and enforcing passed deadline groups

Water users in the 2020 and 2021 groups have both had over a year since their compliance dates passed to take action and we have begun taking enforcement action for breaches of the metering rules.

  • For the 2020 group, we are investigating works that are still non-compliant and taking appropriate enforcement action where necessary. Those who do not comply will face escalated enforcement action, with prosecution and stop work orders a possibility if non-compliance persists in this group of high-risk water users.
  • For the 2021  group, we are continuing to conduct checks and urge all water users to be compliant. This includes escalation of seriousness after contact from NRAR’s compliance officers.
  • For the 2023 group, we are conducting checks and urge all water users to be compliant. Many in this group have Government-owned meters. In this circumstance, WaterNSW is responsible for ensuring the meters meet requirements. You can read more about government-owned meters here

We understand that some water users have faced barriers to compliance, such as shipping delays and limited availability of installers. We are a firm but fair regulator. If a licence holder has faced challenges in complying by their deadline and can show evidence of their efforts to comply, we will take that into consideration.

Failure to comply with the metering rules may be considered a criminal offence. We'll take progressively more severe action if you can't show you tried to follow the rules. Examples of this include stop work orders, license suspension or prosecution.

Changes to our reporting framework

As NRAR matures as a regulator, we continue to improve our data collection and reporting methods. We have changed how we report on metering compliance to provide a more accurate and relevant picture of the state of compliance in NSW.

The challenges of reporting compliance at scale 

In the first stage of the metering rollout, the 2020 large water user group, there were approximately 1080 works.. The small size of this group meant we could conduct site inspections. We checked the compliance status of works and made sure it matched the reported information. We inspected more than half of the works in the 2020 group.  We found that many were smaller than the 500mm threshold or unable to take water. We were then able to report that over 90 per cent of large works, 500mm and above have accurate meters in place.

It is not possible to use site inspections to identify and verify works in the 2021 and 2023 groups. This is because they have almost 10 times the number of works in each when compared to the 2020 group. Our on-ground efforts have primarily focused on large water users in these groups. We needed to take a different approach to report on their compliance with the metering rules.

New method for reporting on metering compliance

Using data from the water licensing system and duly qualified persons (DQP) portal we can report on two compliance rates for each group:

  1. The compliance rate based on all works in that region that are covered by the metering policy (includes works that may be undersized or unable to take water)
  1. The compliance rate based only on all ‘active works’ in that region.

The metering policy requires all works captured by the rules to be:

  • fitted with accurate smart meters, Local Intelligence Devices (LID),
  • tamper evidence seals, and
  • be independently certified by their compliance date.

The two compliance rates above use LID installation as ‘the measure of compliance.’

The first compliance rate is consistent with the metering policy as it includes all works that the policy applies to. However, many works included in this number are likely undersized or unable to take water. While this is the most consistent way to report on overall metering compliance for the 2021 groups and beyond, it does not show the number of active works compliant with the metering rules.

The second compliance rate excludes works likely to be inactive or incapable of taking water. This provides the compliance rate for ‘active works’ only. Inactive or incapable works have been identified using licensing and spatial data assessments. This method relies on some assumptions and is therefore less accurate.