Audit report released on water metering in key SA irrigation district

Systems and procedures to keep track of water used in the South Australian Riverland are in good shape overall, according to the latest audit by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority of state government water metering practices.

Acting head of the MDBA’s Office of Compliance, Di Mead said the review found the South Australian Department for Environment and Water (DEW) had adequate systems in place to record, report and validate metered surface water extraction in the Riverland region, with some room for improvement.

“We are satisfied DEW’s systems for recording and reporting metered surface-water extraction are adequate, however we have recommended improvements to strengthen the integrity of the self-meter read system,” Ms Mead said.

“We’ve recommended DEW consider making it mandatory for all licence holders to submit photographic evidence when providing their meter reading, to reduce the risk of water use being misreported, either accidentally or deliberately.”

The review is in accordance with the Compliance Compact agreed by Murray-Darling Basin governments in June 2018, which commits governments to strengthen their enforcement of the rules of water use in the Basin.

“We’re committed to ensuring strong compliance and will continue to audit state metering and reporting arrangements, including how states are progressing their commitments under the Compliance Compact to move towards meeting Action 3.2 where all new and replacement meters must comply with the National Standard AS4747 by no later than June 2025,” Ms Mead said.

“Accurate metering information helps water users to run their business, while maintaining the trust of everyone who relies on the water resources of the Basin.”

The audit report can be found on the MDBA website.

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