New South Wales’ high-tech water metering telemetry system is now operational and ready for the next phase.

New South Wales Government Water Renewal Taskforce Director, Aaron Walker, said, “Now that the cloud-based telemetry system is being rolled out, water users can arrange for duly qualified persons to order and install telemetry equipment, such as local intelligence devices (LIDs), as they become available.

“This will enable the secure transmission of water extraction data from water users to the department, delivering tangible benefits to the government, water users and the general community.

“The use of LIDs that can record and transmit water take data in real time, is a cornerstone of NSW’s non-urban metering rules and will also support NSW’s new floodplain harvesting measurement rules.”

Mr Walker said that both actions were significant in implementing the Water Reform Action Plan to improve water management.

“The new telemetry system will collect and store data received from LIDs, passing it onto the Natural Resources Access Regulator, WaterNSW and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment-Water. Water users will also be able to access their information via a private online dashboard,” Mr Walker said.

“This information will be used for compliance and enforcement when new metering rules come into force; and progressively in the coming months for billing and other water management functions as this data becomes available.

“Landholders, with surface water pumps 500mm and above, need to have telemetry installed by 1 December 2020. Having the new telemetry system operating now gives landholders enough time to make sure they have LIDs in place and talking with the new telemetry system before the deadline.”

Mr Walker said that all other metered surface water works (except pumps less than 200mm) would need to have telemetry installed by the regional rollout date.

“The department is focused on working with device installers, manufacturers and water users to help them understand how to purchase, install and use these devices, ensuring the transition to this new system is as smooth as possible,” Mr Walker said.

“In particular, device installers, such as certified meter installers and certified practising hydrographers, play a critical role in providing guidance and support to water users. They can advise how to comply with the rules and what meter and local intelligence device is right for water users.”

The rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation has forced the NSW Government to adjust its plans for face-to-face training and field piloting in April 2020.

“We still plan on undertaking a range of engagements over the second quarter of the year, and will publish information on the department’s website about how stakeholders can get involved,” Mr Walker said.

“This phase is an important step in helping to build community confidence in how the state’s water is managed. It shows we are committed to implementing a robust metering framework to improve the standard and coverage of non‑urban water meters across NSW.”

The non‑urban water metering framework began in December 2018 and is being implemented through a staged rollout over five years. It sets clear rules around who needs a meter and ‘telemetry-ready’ equipment, as well as the standards that need to be met, with an aim of making all NSW meters accurate, tamper-proof and auditable.

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