Implications of regulations requiring metering of irrigation

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) published regulations requiring that, as from 17 February 2017, the taking of water for irrigation purposes be measured, recorded and reported for implementation. Following concern about the implications of the regulations for dairy farmers, the MPO requested clarification from the DWS.

According to the DWS the regulations are not an immediate instruction to all users to install measuring devices but instead a prescription on how measuring devices must be selected, installed, operated, maintained and verified. Powers to instruct water user(s) are already provided for in the National Water Act (item 4 of Schedule 3, Act 36 of 1998).

The authority when implementing the regulations is the local catchment management agency (CMA). In the absence of a CMA, the Minister is the authority. The relevant authority will instruct a water user or water users to install measuring devices if there are good grounds or reasons to do so. Guideline documents for both water users and the authority are being finalised to guide the implementation. After an instruction has been issued, the authority will monitor compliance with the regulations. Non-compliance with an instruction issued in terms of the regulations constitutes an offence.

Milk producers who have enquiries in this regard or any other water use authorisation issues can contact theMPO manager market protection and promotion, Barbara Bieldt, at 083 235 2629 or send an email to barbara@mpo.co.za. To view the regulations, click HERE.

Published on Wednesday, 19th April 2017 - 12:05