Home Australia Water regulator starts crackdown after finding two-thirds of irrigators breaking new law

Water regulator starts crackdown after finding two-thirds of irrigators breaking new law

Water regulator starts crackdown after finding two-thirds of irrigators breaking new law

New knowledge has stumbled on two-thirds of NSW irrigators will no longer be complying with a basic new water law, four months after it grew to alter into basic.

The ‘non-city metering framework’ used to be first announced in December 2018 requiring water lift to be measured and reported, with insist meter requirements for surface water pumps 500mm and above.

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The NSW authorities used to be spurred into circulation on the subject after the ABC’s Four Corners file Pumped in 2017, which showed very few of the huge irrigators had functioning meters. It led to a predominant overview of water law and compliance in preserving with the precept of “no meter, no pump.”

Irrigators had been given a one-year extension to December 1, 2020 to set up the new meters as a consequence of difficulties faced with the drought.

The Natural Sources Bag entry to Regulator’s (NRAR) chief regulatory officer, Grant Barnes, stated the files indicated, of the 1,100 irrigation licences they surveyed, more than 700 had no longer taken any circulation to set up lawful, tamper-proof or authorized meters.

An irrigation water pump on the river

Farmers relate it has been tough to get the correct equipment.(



Mr Barnes stated the authority may well maybe be “stunning however company” where irrigators had faced issues turning into compliant.

“We beget heard from some groups that they’ve had difficulties acquiring the moral forms of meters,” he stated.

“COVID has completely had an impact on market rating admission to, there had been challenges for some taking part with duly qualified persons to set up the local intelligence devices.”

NRAR had already begun contacting water customers and 30 officers may well maybe be on the ground to attain what legitimate boundaries existed.

“We demand where customers beget encountered difficulties that they offer documented proof of consistent efforts to comply,” Mr Barnes stated.

In step with NRAR, the Gwydir and Namoi made up about 40 per cent of cases where it looked there had been no efforts to comply. That used to be adopted by the Macquarie and Border River condominium, which made up 30 per cent of cases.

Mr Barnes stated it used to be basic to stress these figures had been from “desktop knowledge” and the authority would now be “on farm to validate the files”.

A man with a tablet inspects an irrigation pump

NRAR workers beget started visiting irrigators to analyze all non-compliance, warning circulation will most certainly be taken.(

Equipped: NRAR


‘Each person understands’

Cotton farmer and Macquarie River Food and Fibre president Tony Quigley stated he used to take note irrigators had been making true efforts to comply however had been struggling to supply the moral equipment.

“It has been a fairly frustrating direction of for americans the entire means via,” he stated.

“Of us are fairly wired about searching to be compliant, nobody needs to be called out by NRAR and even their chums, all americans understands we would like to rating to that time.

Mr Quigley stated farmers suggested the water reform metering project force moral from the originate up their timeline used to be at easiest heroic.

“Their argument used to be the market would beget the void,” he stated.

“It is fairly definite the market has struggled to beget the void. Both meters and the LID telemetry equipment is no longer available for a lot of americans in this stage.

“We beget had one on expose for our operation for over six months and or no longer it’s smooth a couple of months away at contemporary.”

Mr Quigley stated many irrigators had contemporary pumps that may well maybe also meet the requirements subject to attempting out and verification on-build of residing and he used to worry the figures did no longer contemporary that.

“It paints a tainted characterize, however it does no longer encompass meters which had been grandfathered via serial number test bench knowledge and their check by DQP (the pinnacle certifying body in NSW) to witness they’re successfully installed and I cannot watch where that is been accounted for,” he stated.

“They’re successfully compliant, so I’d like to attain if they’ve been accounted for that’s the huge bulk of meters — 70 per cent of meters in Macquarie anyway.

“A lot of the subject is americans had been waiting to witness which meter works the final observe, which is the final observe means to head because of this of there are assorted technologies to what we have got used sooner than.

A water pump with fish screens on the river

All water customers with surface water pumps 500mm and above have to now beget an authorized, tamper-proof meter installed.(

Equipped: AWMA Water Control Solutions


‘About a tainted apples’

Macquarie Marshes grazier Dugald Bucknell stated it used to be very concerning for americans downstream who relied on water making it down the diagram.

“Politicians and bureaucrats stated all the pieces may well maybe be OK with irrigator compliance. In exact fact there are issues, things aren’t occurring up to now,” he stated.

“On the same time, they’re giving out floodplain harvesting licences when they operate no longer know what’s going on and they have not got the metering moral.”

Mr Bucknell stated while there had been completely “a couple of tainted apples” he used to be concerned there had been some elementary issues that needed to be addressed.

“I mediate the majority of irrigators are unbiased appropriate and searching to attain the moral thing, or no longer it’s unbiased appropriate a couple of americans that push the bounds too a ways and beget made more money, change into bigger and more great and are smooth pushing the boundaries the entire time,” he stated.

“That is the article, that is turning into unsustainable.

“These are the final observe irrigators with the final observe pumps using the majority of the water.

“They’d a 12-month extension, or no longer it’s truly comparatively damning in that regard.”

Water regulator starts crackdown after finding two-thirds of irrigators breaking new law