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Floodplain harvesting measurement

How to become measurement ready

To measure floodplain harvesting, licence holders must install compliant metering equipment that transmits data in near real-time on storages used for floodplain harvesting.

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Primary metering equipment

To comply with the floodplain harvesting measurement rules, you will need to install primary metering equipment.

There are two methods for measuring floodplain harvesting, storage measurement or point-of-take measurement, each requiring specific primary metering equipment.

1. Storage measurement method

A storage sensor measures the water depth within a storage (dam). The storage volume is calculated using the storage level and a corresponding storage curve. Storage sensors are integrated with a local intelligence device. A LID uses telemetry to automatically transmit water usage data to the department’s data acquisition service. A sensor and an LID combined are referred to as a ‘storage meter’.

Storage metering equipment is typically installed on an elevated walkway or other storage structures such as a headwall, where the storage is deepest. A method for installing measurement devices on storages without a walkway or other suitable infrastructure is available below.

It is mandatory that all storages listed on a  water supply work approval nominated by a  floodplain harvesting access licence, have storage measurement equipment installed in line with the Minister’s standard (PDF, 1960.11 KB). The mandatory condition does not apply to an approved work if the approval indicates the work is inactive. An application to make a work inactive can be made through the licensing authority.

Measurement in storages without an elevated walkway or other suitable infrastructure

An approved primary measurement solution for storages without an elevated walkway is now available. This method can also be used in wet storages.

The standard components of the method include a compliant vented submersible pressure sensor and an approved LID that transmits data to the department's data acquisition server. The method replaces the elevated walkway with a logging post positioned adjacent to the storage.

For more information on this method contact: Groundwater Imaging.

You will need to complete the following actions by your compliance date:

Engage a duly qualified person (DQP) 

Engage a specialist DQP, in this instance a Certified Storage Meter Validator (CSV), to discuss the appropriate installation method and measurement equipment for your on-farm needs.

A CSV will register, install and validate your storage meter in the WaterNSW DQP Portal.

See the list of compliant storage sensors and compatible local intelligence devices for floodplain harvesting.

A list of CSVs can be found on the:

Register a storage curve

Storage metering equipment measures the depth of water in a storage. This depth is converted to a volume using the storage curve.

You must ensure the most up-to-date storage curve is registered by your DQP in the WaterNSW DQP Portal. Your DQP/CSV can provide you with a copy of your default storage curve. It is up to you to ensure that this information is correct. Please refer to the department’s Storage Curve Guideline (PDF, 268 KB) for further information.

Install survey benchmarks

Survey benchmarks to Australian Height Datum (AHD) are critical for the installation of floodplain harvesting measurement equipment. Levelling and positioning metering equipment to AHD links the meter to the storage curve.

Survey benchmarks must be installed by a DQP – in this instance, a registered surveyor or persons approved by the Minister.

You may use existing survey benchmarks if they are validated by a registered surveyor and conform to the department’s Survey benchmark standard (PDF, 2.4 MB)  and Survey benchmark guideline (PDF, 909.82 KB).

Note: Survey benchmarks can be established after both primary and secondary measurement equipment are installed. This will minimise surveying visits and costs during the installation phase.

2. Point-of-intake measurement method

If you wish to measure your floodplain harvesting via the point-of-intake measurement method, you must install point-of-intake metering equipment that aligns with the non-urban metering equipment requirements

To be eligible for the point-of-intake measurement method a DQP, in this instance a Certified Practising Hydrographer (CPH) or registered engineer, must certify that point-of-intake equipment is capable of measuring all water taken by the works on your water supply work approval.

Secondary metering equipment for floodplain harvesting (optional)

If you hold a floodplain harvesting licence, you can install a secondary metering device which acts as a back-up system. Whilst optional, a secondary device will allow you to floodplain harvest:

  • before the primary metering equipment rollout date, which is 12 months from water being credited to your floodplain harvesting access licence account
  • if your primary metering equipment is faulty.

See a list of all secondary metering devices suitable for floodplain harvesting.

Existing metering equipment – transitional requirements

You may be able to keep existing equipment depending on the installation date and whether it meets the required standards.

Storage metering

You can keep existing storage metering equipment if it was installed before 14 February 2020 and if it meets the requirements of the storage metering equipment standards (PDF, 2.4 MB) and Existing Metering Equipment Guideline (PDF, 189 KB).

To comply, a LID and tamper evident seals need to be fitted and the meter must meet the accuracy requirements of +-10 mm.

The accuracy requirements can be met by any one of the below:

  • Manufacturer's certificate of accuracy
  • DQP (CSV or CPH) confirming that the equipment is accurate +-10 mm
  • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory certifies the equipment is accurate to +-10 mm.

A CSV must provide a report confirming that the existing metering requirements have been met and validate the installation in the DQP Portal.

Point-of-intake metering equipment

You can keep existing point-of-intake metering equipment if it was installed after 14 February 2020 and it meets the requirements outlined in Point-of-intake Guideline (PDF,175 KB)

You can keep existing point-of-intake metering equipment that was installed before 14 February 2020 if a:

  • local intelligence device (LID) and tamper-evident seals can be fitted
  • DQP has validated that the equipment has been installed in accordance with AS4747. For closed conduit metering equipment this must have been in the past five years and for open channel metering equipment it must have been in the last 12 months.
  • DQP must also provide a report confirming that the above requirements have been met.

Report faulty metering equipment

You must notify the Minister (via WaterNSW) within 24 hours of becoming aware that any component of your metering equipment is faulty or telemetry has failed. Reports are made using the S91i self reporting form on the WaterNSW website.

Request an extension to replace faulty equipment:

You have 21 days from the time you lodge your faulty meter form to repair or replace the faulty metering equipment. Requests for an extension beyond 21 days can be made using the S91i extension form on the WaterNSW website.

Advise us that the equipment has been repaired or replaced:

After faulty metering equipment has been repaired or replaced, you must advise the Minister by completing the S91i completion form on the WaterNSW website.

Floodplain harvesting while repairs are being made

You can continue to floodplain harvest while repairs to your primary metering equipment are being made, using a secondary metering device.

Telemetry exemption for floodplain harvesting

The Minister has granted an exemption for floodplain harvesting works that are required to connect to telemetry but cannot because they are in a network black spot.

Find out about the telemetry exemption

Contact us

If you require assistance in reading these documents, please contact 1300 081 047 or  water.enquiries@dpie.nsw.gov.au