Water metering in New South Wales (NSW) just became more high-tech, with the implementation of a new telemetry system intended to bolster water management in the state.
Water Renewal Taskforce Director Aaron Walker said the use of local intelligence devices will enable transmission of water extraction data.
“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,” he said.
“This will enable the secure transmission of water extraction data from water users to the [Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Water], delivering tangible benefits to the government, water users and the general community.”
The new technology allows for real-time recording and transmission of data, with information from LIDs managed by government agencies in a bid to improve water management in the state.
“[This] is a cornerstone of NSW’s non-urban metering rules and will also support NSW’s new floodplain harvesting measurement rules,” Walker said.
“Both are part of the significant actions implemented in the Water Reform Action Plan to improve water management.”
The information collected will be used for compliance and enforcement when new metering rules come into force. It will also be used for billing and other water management functions, as the data becomes available.
Walker said landholders with surface water pumps 500 mm 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,” he said.
“All other metered surface water works (except pumps less than 200 mm) need to have telemetry installed by the regional roll-out date. Water users will also be able to access their information via a private online dashboard.”
And while the installation deadline looms, Walker said the NSW Government is working with landholders to support them through the transition.
“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,” he 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 implementation of the telemetric system began in December 2018 and is being staged to roll-out over five years.