Strengthened water measurement

Measuring water take is fundamental to improving how we manage this important resource.

Benefits of accurately measuring water

Accurate and timely water measurement provides benefits to communities, businesses and the environment.

Water users who know how much they use can improve their water use efficiency and reduce their costs.

Knowing how much water is being used across the state allows government to make better decisions about the allocation of available resources. Where we know water is underutilised, we can make it available to support businesses.

Accurate measurement can also help ensure water take complies with requirements put in place to manage environmental flows.

More accurate and timely information puts us in a better position to identify and respond to compliance breaches and reassures the community that water is being managed fairly and sustainably.

How we are improving measurement

We are improving how we measure water take in Queensland by developing strengthened non-urban water measurement policy of all types of water use.

The policy will initially focus on metering and will deliver:

  • clarity on where a meter is required
  • confidence that meters are working as they should over their lifetime
  • improved data availability
  • metering standards that better align with national direction and are easier to understand.

At a later stage we will also consider the need for and application of alternative measurement methods where meters may not be appropriate.

The meter standards for non-urban water metering will be consistent with Australian standard AS 4747, taking into consideration the costs and benefits in applying the standards.

Working with our stakeholders will be essential as we undertake activities to further develop our policy approach.


In 2019, we consulted with the community about our proposals to strengthen non-urban water measurement.

Read about the consultation and the feedback we received.

Projects and timelines

Current projects

(* initiatives receiving Commonwealth funding)

Develop a strengthened non-urban water measurement policy to, in the first instance, improve the standard and application of metering 2022
Develop an overland flow measurement standard and risk-based overland flow management program to improve the measurement and accounting of take of overland flow 2022
Implement and evaluate a telemetry trial in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin to identify cost effective, accurate telemetry devices and effective transmission options and costs* 2021–2022
Telemetry subsidy for water users in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin*2022–2024
Implement improved measurement of large-take, high-risk water entitlements in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin From 2022
Implement the strengthened metering policy using timeframes that consider water resource pressure and drought implications From 2022

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Australian Government Murray-Darling Basin Authority

The Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) gratefully acknowledges the Australian Government’s financial contribution to the Rural Water Futures Program through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Murray-Darling Basin Communities Investment Package, delivered under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan by the Queensland DRDMW, through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Completed projects

Comprehensive review of Queensland’s existing non-urban water metering policy and standard Completed February 2019
Statewide risk assessment of water measurement and monitoring activities based on the pressure on the water resource in each catchment Completed February

More information

Last updated: 06 Dec 2021