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NSW Floodplain Harvesting Metering

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Basic FPH Meter installation service:

NSW FPH Metering, like the NSW non-urban metering, is a legal requirement where farmers must pay to install equipment giving government ability to monitor their water take to help government stop water theft. Farmers must do this to rigorous, highly specific, government specifications. Heavy fines apply for non-compliance or delays.

Dr David Allen and James Ohanga are certified water storage meter installers and validators (CSVs) and we have arrangements with other installers too.

We have installation methods approved for reservoirs with walkways, where Vega radar sensors normally are installed, and reservoirs without walkways, where pressure transducers normally are installed. Our pressure transducer installation method for reservoirs without walkways is described in the graphics below:

Flood Plain Harvesting Sensor Installation in Water Schematic

Our primary meters will use a TOIP Logger/Modem – what NSW Water call a ‘LID’ : ML417M1 Floodplain Harvesting LID https://www.toip.net.au/Applications/FPH/fph.html

The ‘LID’ communicates, via Telstra mobile network, with what NSW Water call the ‘DAS’ which is their Internet of Things Platform rather than what everyone in electronics calls DAS (data acquisition system).

Gauge Boards:

Farmers must install both primary and secondary meters. The secondary meter can be like the primary, however, in all cases, we recommend making gauge boards the secondary meter. Gauge boards will not fail when technical assistance is not available in an emergency, internet is down, or passwords and usernames get forgotten. For reservoirs with water, we can often start the installation, and get the top surveyed, leaving lower parts for finishing when water is removed.

Enhanced FPH Meter installation:

Because the primary FPH meter must meet government requirements for preventing water theft, it is highly restricted in functionality. Secondary or tertiary meters are not so restricted so can be installed to allow farmers real time access to water volume plus, with enhancements, even evaporation loss and seepage loss. Real time access allows control over pumping so that allocation is not exceeded. It can also be used to meter out water going to crops or to measure return water recovered. Suggestions are given in Flood PLain Harvesting Sensor Information In Water Schematic document

NSW FPH metering with added reservoir seepage and evaporation loss measurement

NSW Floodplain Harvesting Metering with additional sensors and data stream to provide farmers also with seepage information useful for seeking a seepage right.

The OFCP may provide a rebate on (pricing includes rebate):

FPH RunTimeUnit $1100.00
Vega Depth sensor $747.50
Exel mount for Vega sensor $300.00

Installation and mobilization up to 50% of item costs (pricing includes rebate):

Posts and Brackets $75.00

Weather sensors needed to bring cost up to above minimum claimable rebate – these will facilitate calculation of evaporation and by water balance, seepage + unaccounted losses.

Rain gauge $200.00
Air Temp Rel. Humidity $50.00
Radiation screen $95.00
Pyranometer $750.00

Costs not covered by the rebate may include:

  • Hosting of data on a separate server to the one provided by government
  • Initial setup of RTU
  • SIM card costs
  • For the required secondary metering we recommend gauge boards as they do not fail when technical expertise is no longer available and since these are not digitally connected, they are not covered in the OFCP. Secondary metering can also be a second Run Time Unit and Vega sensor – and if permission to send a second data stream from extra sensors managed by the primary RTU is never granted by WaterNSW this will be required to get the rebate.
  • Bureaucratic administration costs – for this program these can be beyond comprehension
  • NRAR and Water NSW dispute costs
  • Pre-installation approvals process
  • Ongoing consultation on calculation of and verification of evaporation and seepage losses
  • Survey costs – benchmarking, bathymetry, any seepage investigation done with survey.