July 2, 2021

Non-urban water metering framework in NSW - An Explanatory guide for DQPs

What is the Non-Urban Water Metering Framework?

The NSW government has implemented a robust non-urban water metering framework to allow for greater understanding of water usage from agriculture in NSW. The government's objective is to improve community confidence, reduce environmental impacts of water usage, and ensure that NSW’s water is used sustainably. Implementation of the Non-urban Water Metering framework started in December 2018, with a stage rollout planned to occur over the next 5 years.

Who is required to have a non-urban water metering system installed?

The rollout of the framework is staggered, dependent on location and water pump/bore size. Water users with pumps 500mm or greater that are used to take both licensed water will be required to have an accurate water sensor and Local Intelligence Device (LID) installed by 1 March 2021 regardless of location. 

There are an estimated 20,000* of these types of works in NSW to be completed under the framework. 

Other water users may be required to become compliant with the framework based on the table below.

Ground Water

Surface Water

Multiple Pumps or Bores

All ground water collecting works must comply with the regulations outlined in the framework – with the exception of pumps/bores under 200mm in size who are not required to comply with the framework.

All surface water collecting works must comply with the regulations outlined in the framework – with the exception of pumps/bores under 100mm in size who are not required to comply with the framework.

See capacity thresholds outlined on page 7 of the non-urban water metering policy

Non-urban water users who fit the criteria outlined above will be required to comply with the framework at different dates based on their location.

  • Northern Inland - 1 December 2021
  • Southern Inland - 1 December 2022
  • Coastal region - 1 December 2023.

Further information about the framework rollout see the timelines outlined on the Industry NSW non-urban water metering framework rollout plan

What are the requirements of the framework?

Under the new framework metered non-urban water users will be required to comply with regulations related to the measurement, collection and transfer of water usage telemetry such as

  • Installation of pattern approved meters
  • Installation of government approved data logging systems
  • Usage of telemetry services to capture data in an online government system
  • Installation of flood plain storage monitoring systems

Metered non-urban water users will be required to have an accurate water measuring device, and a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) approved LID installed at all water collection areas. A LID is a telemetry-capable data logger that can record at minimum hourly water usage data and transmit the collected telemetry to the NSW government at least once every 24 hours. Captis devices are an example of a non-urban water metering framework compliant LID. 

Water take data is delivered to WaterNSW through usage of a data acquisition service (DAS). There are strict data, protocol and formatting guidelines that apply to DAS telemetry communications to protect data integrity and quality as documented in the Data Acquisition Service Logged Data Format Guidelines.

To ensure the correct, safe and accurate installation of all hardware, only Duly Qualified People (DQPs) may install LIDs and Water Meters under the framework. DQPs must install LIDs and meters in strict compliance with the NSW Non-Urban Water Metering Policy.

How can SigSense assist DQPs get started installing non-urban water metering systems?

Sigsense has been formed to provide end to end support to DQPs facing the technically difficult task of sourcing, configuring, installing framework-compliant meter and LID, or retrofit an LID to an existing approved meter. We work together with DQPs to help simplify the install process by sourcing compliant LIDs, pre-configuration/testing of compliant LIDs, setup of DAS functionality, and provide after sale support to DQPS (including phone support to on-site DQPs when required). Ultimately, it is our goal for installation of the LID to be plug and play for DQPs.

By working together with SigSense, DQPs have the opportunity to streamline their deployment process of LIDs, making rapid installation and large-scale deployments of smart telemetry devices a reality for DQPs.

SigSense also provides a variety of support, resources and services to make installation as problem free as possible.

  • Fast DQP Portal issue resolution due to our close relationship with WaterNSW
  • Fast DAS issue resolution due to our close relationship with eagle.io
  • Detailed instructional guides and resources for ordering, submitting configuration information, and installation guidelines for Captis Devices
  • Site Cellular Strength analysis using survey software to determine antenna requirements or site feasibility before you arrive on site. SigSense can also sell handheld signal scanners at wholesale pricing to DQPs.

How can DQPs begin working with SigSense?

Please contact SigSense to discuss becoming a SigSense authorised partner.

To get started please visit our Configure A Captis page for detailed instructions to begin installing Captis devices.

In summary the process to become a SigSense Captis distribution partner consists of:

  • Register to become a certified Captis installer and undergo the short training module
  • Purchase LIDs from the business to business portal
  • Register the site on the WaterNSW DQP portal
  • Complete the Configure a Captis form with your information and meter configuration settings.
  • Receive a plug-and-play ready Captis device to install for your clients.



* https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/files/sharedassets/website/shared-files/pricing-reviews-water-services-rural-water-review-of-water-management-prices-from-2021/legislative-requirements-review-of-water-management-prices-from-2021/transcript-water-nsw%E2%80%99s-proposal-on-metering-reform-session-a.pdf

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