A Lithgow company is the subject of the latest prosecution launched by the New South Wales water regulator.
The charges relate to meters on its bore pumps at its cotton farm in the Narrabri Shire.
The charges were brought by the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) in the Land and Environment Court on 19 March.
According to a release from the NRAR, the charges are for 'contraventions of section 91I(2) or in the alternative s91H(2) of the Water Management Act 2000 for taking water from a water source, the Lower Namoi Groundwater Source, by means of a metered work while it was not operating properly or failing to ensure the metered work was operating properly.'
NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes said that due to the critical nature of NRAR's work, its officers were continuing their activities of monitoring potentially unlawful water use during the COVID-19 response period.
"Water is a precious and finite resource," he said.
"The prolonged drought has meant more people have been turning to bore water, and in many places groundwater reserves have been dropping at a faster rate.
"The Lower Namoi Groundwater Source is a highly utilised system. Many people in that area are reliant on groundwater for town water supply, stock and domestic use, and irrigation.
"This means that properly functioning metering equipment to measure water take and prevent over-extraction is essential.
"Now more than ever, it's vital that access to water is shared between communities, irrigators, industry and the environment.
It's up to us all to protect our water sources for generations to come."