NRAR metering compliance starts in Moree

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has started visiting properties in Moree and its surrounds to check compliance with the metering rules.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has started visiting properties in Moree and its surrounds to check compliance with the metering rules.

Water users with medium to large-sized pumps or bores in Moree and surrounding areas need to install accurate meters that have been independently validated by certified meter installers by 1 December 2021. Some of those pumps are also required to transmit data about water taken to a central database.

Ian Bernard, Director of Regulatory Initiatives at NRAR, said he hopes to find water users that have done the right thing when the regulator visits properties in the Moree area over the next six weeks.

“Water entitlements in NSW are worth almost $30 billion per year. Meters are the best way to protect this asset on behalf of the people of NSW and the environment,” said Bernard.

The deadline applied to all works. They include pumps 100mm and above and bores 200mm and above. We are focusing on the Macquarie, Gwydir, Namoi, Border Rivers and Barwon-Darling regions. As well as some at-risk groundwater sources and smaller pumps with existing metering conditions.

“We understand some water users are grappling with shipping delays. However, we expect everyone to have made a reasonable effort to comply,” explained Mr Bernard.

“We are a firm but fair regulator and will consider each case on its merits.”

“Water users with a formal agreement or contract with a certified meter installer will be safe from penalties. Those who can’t provide this evidence may be subject to fines and legal directions to comply.”

“We also recognise alternative pathways to compliance. For example, if you have an accurate existing meter, you can have it certified by a qualified professional,” said Bernard.

Metering compliance key to irrigation efficiency

Rod Carr, Director of Marsden Jacob Associates, a leading natural resources economic advisory firm, wants farmers to consider how valuable a meter’s data can be to their business.

“High accuracy meters help farmers understand the efficiency of their water management systems. They help identify opportunities to optimise water use and make well-informed management decisions.”

“Manual checking is a thing of the past. Farmers can now receive real-time alerts on their mobile phones when the farm has enough water. This means they are reducing waste and saving money while also improving yield and quality,” said Carr.

Water users who are unsure if the rules apply to them or what they need to do can use the Department of Planning and Environment’s online metering guidance tool to get real-time answers to their questions.

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