Summary of 2012 amendments

The following summarises the changes to the Water Regulations 2008 made in May 2012. For a more detailed explanation of the changes refer to Issue 8 of the Water Information Bulletin.

  1. Category headings – two of the existing 10 water information category headings will change to specify more clearly the information grouping for each category of data:
    Category Current heading Change
    3 Information on major and minor water storages Water storage information
    6 Information about rights, allocations and trades in relation to water Information about water rights, allocations and trades

  2. Water Restrictions Information – from July 2012, organisations will give their water restrictions information (subcategory 8a) using an online tool provided by the Bureau. The water restrictions tool will be available ahead of the Regulations coming into effect.

  3. Metadata and contextual information – Category 10 is omitted from the Regulations. The amendment introduces a new mechanism for publishing on-line lists of required metadata and contextual information for each subcategory. This will, over time, replace the descriptive and reference information requirements in Category 10.

  4. Flood warning and forecasting information – a new category of water information, Category 11, is created to contain the requirement for flood warning data. The data required has not changed, but it is clearer that the data is to be provided hourly.

  5. Groundwater – the Regulations require new groundwater information as follows:
    Subcategory 2c: volume of water supplied for aquifer recharge
    Subcategory 5ab: volume of water taken from ground water
    Subcategory 9ga: pH of ground water

  6. Water storage information – all volumes of water released from and delivered to major storages is required. The categories of persons required to provide water storage information widens.

  7. Water use information – Category 5 requires more detail about water taken. Subcategory 5c is omitted. Some new subcategories are added applicable to owners or operators of sites of hydrological significance (a new category of persons to be added to the Regulations in the future - see point 10 below).

  8. Information about water rights, allocations and trades – Category 6 aligns with the data model supplied to relevant agencies as part of the National Water Market Portal project. It is also reworded to more clearly include water rights that have not been conferred under statute.

  9. Urban water management – Category 7 is amended to align with the hydrological aspects of the urban National Performance Reporting (NPR) framework against which urban water utilities already report. To ease the reporting timeframe, Category 7 data is required by 31 August each year.

  10. New Category J persons – amendments enable the inclusion of owners or operators of hydrologically significant sites that are not already in the Regulations. These changes will not take effect before 2013.

  11. Other amendments – the following amendments clarify definitions, timeframes and address some confusing terminology:
    • the web address shown in the Regulations for the location of the Bureau's online documents
    • definitions for dewpoint temperature, water-equivalent precipitation, managed aquifer recharge, non-potable water, potable water, raw water, recycled water, sewer mining, trade waste sewage, urban stormwater, urban stormwater reuse and water storage
    • definitions for electrical conductivity, total nitrogen concentration, total phosphorus concentration and turbidity
    • the requirement for 'instantaneous' measurements for several subcategories is omitted
    • a new subcategory in Category 4 (meteorological information) for dewpoint temperature
    • temporal specifications from the subcategories are omitted. For example: in Category 7, weekly is specified, however many utilities do not collect data weekly. They will be required to express their annual data as volumes recorded monthly or more frequently
    • omit the term 'water sample' in subcategories 9a to 9d, 9g and 9h (water quality information) is omitted, as is 'above the tidal limit of the watercourse' from subcategory 9b.

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