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Independent audit of Queensland non-urban water measurement and compliance

It is important that Queensland’s regulatory frameworks for water measurement and compliance be effective. To ensure public confidence in water management across the state, we are undergoing an independent audit that will assess these frameworks.

While we already have rigorous controls in place for water storage and water take, the audit is a recognition that transparency and accountability are fundamental in the sustainable use of our water resources. The audit will give us confidence that the right checks and balances are in place and that everybody has access to their fair share.

The independent panel’s advice and options will be provided to us in March 2018.

Audit panel of experts

The audit is being conducted by 3 independent water experts:

Mr Tim Waldron - Chair

Tim has more than 40 years experience in the water and wastewater industry. He is recognised as Australia’s leading expert on demand management, water metering and measurement, leakage control and pressure management.

Mr Ian Johnson

Ian has over 20 years experience representing the Queensland agricultural industry as a 3rd-party economic development advisor, executive officer and as the policy advisor for water issues at Queensland Farmers’ Federation.

Professor Poh Ling Tan

Since the mid 1990s, Professor Poh-Ling Tan's research has focused on water reform in Australia that investigates real-life problems facing communities, stakeholders and water agencies and provides policy advice and outcomes on national, regional and local levels.

Terms of reference

The independent audit will review Queensland’s current measurement and metering framework and regulatory arrangements for non-urban water, including:

  • identifying limitations with existing frameworks for water measurement and management and compliance arrangements
  • providing options for improving the current framework and adopting improved technology
  • contributing to the Australian Government’s independent review of compliance in the Murray-Darling Basin being led by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

In particular, the panel will consider:

  • the adequacy of Queensland’s rural water measurement and monitoring governance arrangements for all forms of take (including metered and un-metered take), and the regulatory framework/model, including responsibility for installation, reading, maintenance of water meters and measurement infrastructure (ownership models)
  • how the metering and measurement framework ensures consistency with water plans and the Water Regulation 2016 including
    • take of unsupplemented water (water harvesting and overland flow rights)
    • the obligations of resource operations licence holders (for supplemented schemes)
    • the actions that have been taken by the state to support compliance
  • compliance arrangements, including
    • complaint and investigation management practices and how they are applied in Queensland Murray-Darling Basin catchments
    • the operational efficiency of the framework to support compliance and penalties
  • the adequacy, sufficiency/capability of Queensland’s water measurement and monitoring technology, including
    • identifying opportunities presented by new technologies
    • reviewing Queensland’s interim metering standard and progress to transitioning to meet Australian Standard 4747 and other appropriate national performance measures for non-urban water metering
  • ongoing resourcing requirements (including CAPEX and OPEX) to deliver sustainable metering and compliance arrangements to support Queensland’s water management framework statewide. This will include particular references to ensuring Queensland’s accreditation under the Basin Plan, including consideration of alternative provider models.

More information

For further enquiries please email waterreform@dnrm.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated: 3 November 2017


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