Water laws have more loopholes than a monopoly authority: regulator

Many water users have been affected by a shortage of professionals qualified to certify the equipment and ongoing supply chain bottlenecks caused by the pandemic, the regulator said.

“NRAR has worked with WaterNSW and the Department for Planning and Environment to increase water user awareness of their metering obligations and encourage voluntary compliance.

“We’ve sent letters, made phone calls, advertised on social media, exhibited at regional field days and attended road shows across the state. Our outreach staff met with local water users to provide support and guidance on compliance.”

Mel Gray, campaigner for the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, said: “This basically means that the regulator is saying that for all the delays, it has been unwilling or unable to guarantee even the most basic control over how much water is sucked out of our rivers by corporations.” Irrigation equipment.”

Universal metering became mandatory in the Northern Basin in 2021 after concerns that some fraudulent irrigation operators were taking more water than their due from the Barwon-Darling River system and pumping water during periods when it was forbidden to protect drinking water supplies for the population to protect downstream communities and that meter tampering was common. Previously, water users could self-report their water consumption using logbooks if their meters weren’t working.

Irrigation systems in Murray and Murrumbidgee must have compliant meters installed by June 1st.

New South Wales Water Minister Rose Jackson said she had asked her department to present her with a range of options for addressing the low compliance rate when installing water meters. She accepted that some delays were due to drought, flooding, COVID, a lack of qualified officials to authorize meter installation and supply chain issues.

“I also think, without question, that it’s because of the unwillingness of some people who have to take these actions to actually take them,” she said.

Legalize Cannabis MLC Jeremy Buckingham, who was elected to office by the New South Wales Parliament in March after a five-year hiatus, said there had been little movement on water meters since the Matthews Inquiry in 2017 found that the existing system based on honesty.

“The pumps are huge, they pump huge amounts of water and some of them are unmetered,” Buckingham said. “In my view, it completely undermines the integrity of the system.”

Justin Scaccy

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