Water metering arrangements for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges

We are committed to making sure water is well managed for all users. Measuring water use from licensed water sources will help secure a sustainable future for the Eastern Mount Lofty water resources by providing important information for improving and adapting our management strategies.

Metering licensed sources

The South Australian Licensed Water Use Metering Policy requires that all licensed water use is metered, but recognises the need to be flexible to provide for on-ground implementation issues.

Measuring water use from licensed water sources will help secure a sustainable future for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges water resources.

Water meters need to be fitted to some licensed water sources so we can accurately understand how water is used at local and regional scales. The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) aims to strike a balance between requirements for measuring water use and reducing the cost burden on licence holders.

Where a meter is needed, licence holders are required to notify DEWNR within six months of their water licence issue date of any meter(s) that have been installed, or request a time extension to install a water meter. 

Flexibility provisions

Meters will not be required for:

  • licensed dams with a capacity of 2ML or less in capacity (excluding dams which are high risk)
  • surface water dams used solely for stock and domestic purposes
  • surface water captured via a roof (‘roof run off’) into a rainwater tank or other holding tank
  • quarries which capture surface water.

Under these flexibility provisions, high risk dams are where the dam capacity is not what controls the volume of water able to be taken. Here, there is a risk that the licence holder could take significantly more than their licensed allocation.

Low demand zone metering proposal

The current Meter Implementation Plan for the EMLR states that metering for dams in low demand surface water management zones is deferred until the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board and DEWNR engages with the community.

The Board is now proposing to use the existing metering policy in low demand surface water management zones. The Board believes this is the most equitable approach as it will mean that all licensed water sources will need to be metered unless otherwise specified (see the Meter Implementation Plan for further information). Current flexibility provisions, as outlined above, will apply.

The benefits of extending the current metering policy are:

  • There is more flexibility to trade and transfer water if you have a meter
  • Metering water use enables the licensee to consider rolling over unused portions of allocation subject to the rules of the EMLR WAP
  • Metering water use enables licensees to understand their water use and consider opportunities to improve efficiencies or trade un-needed water allocation
  • Metering water use is a compliance tool to provide confidence to all water users that only licensed volumes are being taken from the resource and it is not being exploited by any one user
  • Water metering is an important tool to enable better understanding and management of the region’s water resources by providing information on water use trends over time, and helping to assess whether the allocation limits set in the EMLR WAP are reasonable.
  • Metering of water use in the EMLR assists in meeting South Australia’s commitments under the Basin Plan

If you have already installed or are preparing to install a meter on your property, please remember to register it with the Berri Office on 08 8595 2053.

Metering for flood diverters in the Lower Angas and Bremer who take watercourse water for flood irrigation (e.g. by use of sluice gates, large pumps, weirs) remains deferred subject to further investigation and engagement with the community.

Meter installation

A six-month grace period is extended to licence holders to install water meters and/or to advise DEWNR of existing meter installations.

You must notify DEWNR of the meter details once each meter has been installed. This information can be submitted by completing the meter notification form.

We recognise that in some instances licensees have to install multiple meters and that cost, meter or installer availability may make it difficult to meet the six month deadline. Licensees may seek an extension of time or submit a phased installation timetable if they have multiple meters to install.

If you need assistance to determine the most efficient metering configuration for your property contact DEWNR by completing the online meter notification form.

Meter maintenance or disconnection

You must also notify DEWNR and receive approval to disconnect a meter or break any departmental seals on the meter before undertaking any maintenance works. Contact DEWNR 48 hours before work is undertaken on 8595 2053.

Useful resources

To help step you through your obligations for correct and timely meter installation please refer to the related links below.

Related links

More information