A national water initiative- a state solution

Blowering DamIn 2004, all Australian governments agreed to establish a national approach to water management, by creating the National Water Initiative. Under the initiative, new national standards for water meters and meter data collection systems were established. Agreed standards for rural water were confirmed in 2009 with the Australian government overseeing the replacement of all non conforming meters by 30 June 2016.

Funded as part of the NSW Government's $1.36 billion “Sustaining the Basin” initiative, the metering scheme will deliver water savings that will be shared between the environment and community. The “Sustaining the Basin” initiative contains a range of measures funded by the NSW Government as part of the Commonwealth Government’s “Water for the Future” program.

The Australian Government has agreed in principle to commit up to $221 million to the NSW Metering Scheme to improve the measurement of water extracted from groundwater, regulated and unregulated rivers throughout the Murray Darling Basin.  Ultimately, the NSW Metering Project will see the installation of high accuracy, tamper proof and low maintenance meters across the NSW Murray-Darling Basin.

As part of the program, two metering projects are already underway in New South Wales. The Murray Pilot Project is currently being undertaken , which will see in the first instance up to 1200 state of the art, telemetry enabled meters installed in the upper Murray catchment. The Murray Pilot will be used to evaluate installation options and techniques prior to the roll out of the project across the Murray-Darling Basin in NSW.

Running Parallel with the Murray Pilot, is the metering component of the Murrumbidgee CARM project, which involves the installation of approximately 600 meters on the Murrumbidgee River.  Metering is just one of five components of the CARM project, which also includes capital works and technology upgrades.

Under both projects, State Water Corporation will own, operate and maintain all government-installed meters on regulated rivers. The NSW Office of Water (NOW) will own, operate and maintain all other government-installed meters. Licence holders will pay an annual metering charge as determined by IPART.