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Rural Water Metering Consultations

MEDIA RELEASE

8 December 2008

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With water becoming scarcer across Australia, more accurate measurement is vital to support management decisions and to assist more efficient water use.

The Australian GovernmentDepartment of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has released, for comment, a draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the National Framework for Non-urban Water Metering. The public consultation period is open for seven weeks, closing on 28 January 2009.

The RIS examines the likely regulatory impact for achieving state, territory and Australian governments’ objective of an efficient and consistent approach to improving the accuracy of non-urban water meters across Australia.

The draft RIS is the latest step in the consultation process for establishing new water metering standards to improve water information, management and meter accuracy. The RIS process follows consultations with meter manufacturers and the irrigation industry in the development of technical specifications and standards.

The regulatory impact options outlined in the RIS relate to the draft National Framework for Non-urban Water Metering policy paper. The draft Framework was developed by the Metering Expert Group which is made up of representatives from industry and government.

It aims to provide an acceptable level of confidence that non-urban water metering across Australia is within the maximum permissible limits of error of +/-2.5 % in laboratory conditions and +/-5% in the field and that there are credible maintenance and monitoring arrangements in place so ongoing accuracy is assured.

The RIS is available at www.environment.gov.au/water or by calling 02 6274 1742. Submissions should be sent no later than 28 January 2009, by email to watermeteringRIS@environment.gov.au or mailed to:

Assistant Secretary, Irrigation Efficiency Southern Branch
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787CANBERRA ACT 2601
Media Contact:Howard Conkey (02) 6274 2215