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Water metering process

The use of meters allows accurate measurement of water use. This information will help water entitlement holders by:

  • providing greater protection and security of water entitlements
  • establishing more equitable water sharing arrangements
  • improving the planning and sustainable management of water resources
  • enabling water trading
  • supporting on-farm water use efficiencies.

Where water metering is required

The Water Act 2000 requires that the holder of a metered entitlement must not take water other than through works that have an approved meter attached.

Meter entitlements may be created in areas where:

  • there is a need to ensure the equitable distribution of water or reduce the risk of environmental damage or water depletion
  • water systems are at or are approaching full allocation
  • water authorisations have specified area allocations, volumetric limits or rates of take
  • floodwater or overland flow water is taken
  • water plans, operations manual or water management protocol require metering.

Find out more about approved meters in the Queensland non-urban water metering policy for unsupplemented water extractions 2016 (PDF, 313KB).

Where a meter may not be required to be installed

In areas where metered entitlements are created, some types of water authorisations may not require a meter. For example, water taken for stock and/or domestic purposes only.

Likewise, if you have a metered entitlement but do not take any water, there may be no requirement for a meter. However, you must install a meter prior to taking any water under a metered entitlement.

Areas where meters are not currently required

There is no requirement for you to have a meter installed unless:

  • your water authorisation is declared a metered entitlement
  • or
  • you are required to have a meter for another purpose, such as water harvesting.

Meter purchase and installation

Water users are responsible for managing the purchase, installation, maintenance and validation of their meters. This allows entitlement holders to choose meters that suit their pumping installations and operating conditions, and support their farm management practices. Find out more about standards for water metering in the Queensland interim water meter standard for non-urban metering (PDF, 470KB).

You are required to install any ancillary equipment and to have the meter validated by a certified validator.

All meters and installations must comply with state and national standards and the manufacturer's installation and operating specifications.

Ownership of the meter

Unless otherwise specified by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, the meter used to take unsupplemented water is the property of the water authorisation holder. Water meters were installed by the department in many areas of Queensland before 2013. The ownership of these meters has since been transferred to the water authorisation holders, who are now fully responsible for the ongoing maintenance and validation of the installed meter.

Ownership of meters associated with supplemented water (including instances where meters are also used to take unsupplemented water) is a matter for negotiation between the water service provider and their customers.

Meter reading

You are required to supply up to 2 meter readings to the department within a water year. We will advise you when a meter reading is required.

In areas where announced allocations and water harvesting occur, we may require the entitlement holder to supply additional readings.

Outstanding meter charges

If you have a meter installed by the department and it has not been paid in full, you will need to pay the metering charge(s) on an annual basis over the remaining period (in accordance with the agreed payment plan).

The department no longer supplies and installs water meters. You are responsible for the costs of new meter installation, maintenance and validation.

If you sell your property

The requirement for metering relates to the water entitlement and is not tied to property ownership. Upon the sale of a property, you will be responsible for the payment of any outstanding metering charges for the meter previously supplied and installed by us.