Metering water use
If you are a water licence holder, the volume of water taken under your licence must be measured using a water meter. As a water licence holder you are responsible for installing and maintaining the water meter(s).
Measuring the volume of water taken through a meter helps water users remain within water allocation limits. This is important for the long-term sustainable management of our precious water resources needed for agriculture, industries, regional communities and water-dependent ecosystems.
For assistance with:
- submitting a meter reading please go here.
- notifying the department of work or changes to your meter please go here.
Relevant policies and legislation
- All meters must comply with the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification.
- The South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Policy sets out the State Government’s overarching position on metering licensed water use.
- The legislative powers and provisions relating to metering licensed water use can be found in the Landscape South Australia (Water Management) Regulations 2020 and the Landscape South Australia Act 2019.
New metering requirements from 1 July 2019
From 1 July 2019, new and replacement meters for licensed water use must comply with national metering standards for meter selection, installation and maintenance.
This means that water meters must be:
- pattern approved,
- validated by a certified person following installation, and
- maintained in accordance with national metering standards.
The South Australian Government committed to implementing the National Metering Standards under the National Water Initiative and the Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact (a collaborative, joint commitment by the Australian Government and Basin States that aims to have a consistent approach to compliance and enforcement practices by governments across the Basin).
The National Metering Standards are outlined in the technical document Australian Standard: Meters for non-urban water supply AS4747. For customer accessibility and ease, the relevant requirements from the National Metering Standards have been incorporated into the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification.
Meters installed before 1 July 2019 do not need to comply with the National Metering Standards, but must comply with the relevant State-wide requirements in the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification.
To assist you to understand the metering obligations applicable to you, please refer to the ‘User Guide to the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification ’ and our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
South Australia reports annually on progress regarding implementing the national metering standards. View the report.
Pattern approved meters
A list of current pattern approved meters and meters in the process of being pattern approved can be found on the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website (see the 'Pattern approved non-urban water meters' document under the heading of Pattern Approved meters).
A certified person is someone holding a current certificate issued by Irrigation Australia Limited certifying that the person is qualified as a meter installer and validator. A list of current certified installers/validators can be found here.
When a certified person performs a validation on a new or replacement meter, they are required to install security seals on the meter installation. From 1 December 2019, the type of seal to be used must be a South Australian Government badged security seal purchased through Irrigation Australia Limited. Please see the ‘Frequently Asked Questions – South Australia’s Metering Framework’ document in the ‘Further information’ section below for more details.
A certified person must complete a validation certificate following a validation on a water meter, which can be found here. If you would like to fill the form out electronically, an editable version of the form can be found here.
Flexibility provisions and exemptions
In limited low risk circumstances, water sources may be granted flexibility from metering. This may mean that a source is exempt from metering or flexibility is given so that water use from multiple sources can be recorded through a single meter. These exemptions and provisions have regard to, and are consistent with, national guidelines entitled 'Best Practice Guidelines for Minimum Metering Thresholds'.
Metering flexibility can be granted upon application by the licence holder(s). Where metering flexibility applies, further details can be found in the meter implementation plan for that area (see below). It is important to note that in instances where the requirement to meter has been exempt, water usage against the associated allocation will be deemed as full usage and this has implications for carry over and allocation trades/transfers.
- Fact sheet for Validators
- Fact sheet: Overview of National Metering Standards
- User guide – South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): South Australia's Metering Framework
- Meter Implementation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse
- Meter implementation plan for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges Prescribed Water Resources Area
- Meter implementation plan for the Western Mount Lofty Ranges Prescribed Water Resources Area
- How to read your meter fact sheet
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Barossa Prescribed Water Resources Area
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Clare Valley Prescribed Water Resources Area
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Marne Saunders Prescribed Water Resources Area
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Mallee and Peake, Roby and Sherlock Prescribed Wells Areas
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Southern Basins and Musgrave Prescribed Wells Areas
- Meter Implementation Plan for the Central Adelaide Prescribed Wells Area
- Meter Improvement Plan: Information on South Australia’s metering framework and how this addresses the specific requirements of the Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact
- South Australia’s progress implementing AS4747 compliance
Please contact the appropriate water licensing office if you have any further questions regarding your metering obligations.
|Contact Numbers||Prescribed Water Resources managed by this office|
(08) 8463 6876
|McLaren Vale, Northern Adelaide Plains, Western Mount Lofty Ranges, Far North|
(08) 8595 2053
|River Murray, Angas Bremer, Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, Mallee, Marne Saunders, Peake Roby and Sherlock, Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Eyre Peninsula|
(08) 8735 1134
|South East Region|
Email (all areas): DEWWaterLicensing@sa.gov.au