Water revalidations must be a priority
The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water is encouraging irrigators in high-priority water areas to get their meter revalidations completed or risk compliance action.
Accurate meters are a vital part of the Queensland’s sustainable water management, particularly as we face another spell of dry conditions across the state.
Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Executive Director South Region Hamish Butler said that with more than 1,700 meters still to be validated in the region, it was time for some tough conversations.
Under section 808(3) of the Water Act 2000, water must not be taken under a metered entitlement other than through works that have an ‘approved meter’ attached. If you are found to be taking water through a meter that is not approved, the department will consider taking compliance action. The maximum penalty that a court can impose is $257,240.
The department routinely conducts audits to ensure entitlement holders comply with metering requirements.
“There are seven water plan areas due for meter revalidation by 30 November 2023 and we urge water entitlement holders to get their revalidations booked in, or risk compliance action,” Mr Butler said.
The areas are: Condamine and Balonne, Border Rivers and Moonie, Gold Coast, Moreton, Mary Basin, Burnett Basin, Bowen.
“We recognise and are working with Irrigation Australia to address the current shortage of authorised meter validators across the state,” Mr Butler said.
“As long as irrigators can report that they’ve booked their validation or are on a waiting list, we can work with them. You need to show you’ve made a genuine effort, even if it may take time for revalidators to get to your property.
“In accordance with the Water Act, without a valid meter, irrigators are not permitted to pump water,” he said.
In some areas, meters have not been revalidated since they were installed in 2014 and best practice requires that meters are checked and validated every five years.
“You can’t manage water effectively if you can’t measure it accurately. Equipment needs to be checked to make sure it still works properly and that’s what this campaign is all about,” Mr Butler said.
Irrigators can find out if the metering rules apply to them and when their due dates for installation and/or validation are due at www.rdmw.qld.gov.au/water/consultations-initiatives/strengthened-water-metering-standards. They can also contact their nearest business centre by phoning 13QGOV (13 74 68).
More information on our role as the regulator is available on the department’s website: www.rdmw.qld.gov.au/water/regulatory-role.
Contact DRDMW Media Unit:
M: 0457 228 028
Last updated: 24 Nov 2023