Water Take Measurment

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Water Take Measurement

The GVIA are of the understanding that the standard of measurement in the Gwydir Valley is high, with active irrigators adopting the most accurate technology commercially available[1]. Irrigators adopt high accuracy technology at their own cost, due to the high value of their asset and because it meets their requirements to know exactly how much water they have at any point in time.  Irrigators in our region, couldn’t be the industry leaders in water-use efficiency, if they didn’t have this standard of information.
We fully support the key objectives of the NSW Government’s future water take measurement and metering, including:

  1. That the take of water can be accurately and reliably determined;
  2. That meters used to measure water take are auditable, verifiable and accurate;
  3. That data from meters can be easily communicated to relevant authorities;
  4. That mandatory requirements and resources are targeted to high risk water users (i.e. those that have a greater capacity to take water in high risk water sources);
  5. That the benefits of water measurement outweigh the costs; and
  6. That the framework is simple to understand, comply with, administer and enforce.

These six objectives, in addition to a recommendation to include an objective to ensure that improved measurement enables better resource management, should guide the NSW Government’s future approach in developing an efficient, equitable and enduring methodology that will be flexible enough to meet the required objectives but cognisant of the need to establish thresholds for implementation, provide adequate transition allowances and overcome barriers to implementation.  After all, it is the NSW Government’s responsibility to re-build the community’s and water-users confidence that everyone is receiving their fair share, no more and no less.
We therefore believe that all water take must be measured with the majority of take metered through highly accurate devices[2].  All measurement must be auditable, verifiable and within accuracy requirements, but that accuracy and measurement methodology may vary depending on the establishment of state-wide but valley specific thresholds and or the category of water take.  The NSW Government must be pragmatic in accepting that a single solution may not effectively address our overall objective of re-building the community’s and water-users confidence that everyone is receiving their fair share, no more and no less of our precious resource.  
The challenge in pursuing a single standard will also be exacerbated when considering other forms of take and usage, as with environmental water delivery, irrigation corporations and capturing of overland flow (Floodplain Harvesting).  Where measurement objectives in terms of auditability, verification and accuracy limits are still required but that traditional metering options will not be applicable.  

[1] The GVIA surveyed members regarding their meter fleet in early 2018 with 92% of respondents using a meter to measure their water take with 77% of all water take measured via a current model electromagnetic meter.

[2] Independently verified of within +/-5% in the field.

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.