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7127.0 - Agricultural Land and Water Ownership, December 2010 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/09/2011  First Issue
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OWNERSHIP OF WATER ENTITLEMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES



Estimates from ALWOS indicated that the total volume of water entitlements used for agricultural purposes in Australia on 31 December 2010 was 13,700 gigalitres. Of this total, approximately 12,500 gigalitres, or 91%, of the water entitlements for agricultural purposes in Australia were owned by entirely Australian owned businesses; 1,169 gigalitres had some level of foreign ownership; and 97 gigalitres had an unknown ownership status.

Of the businesses reporting some level of foreign ownership of water entitlements for agricultural purposes, 84 gigalitres were owned by businesses which had less than 10% foreign ownership, 170 gigalitres were owned by businesses which had between 10% and 50% foreign ownership, and 915 gigalitres were owned by businesses which had more than 50% foreign ownership.

Of the water entitlements for agricultural purposes which were more than 50% foreign owned, New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory had the largest volume of water entitlements with some degree of foreign ownership (459 gigalitres). The Northern Territory reported no agricultural water entitlements for agricultural purposes being owned by businesses with any level of foreign ownership.




The industry group reporting the highest volume of Australian ownership of water entitlements for agricultural purposes was the Sheep Beef Cattle and Grain Farming (ANZSIC 014), with 5,960 gigalitres entirely Australian owned. Interestingly, this group also had the highest volume of agricultural water entitlements with some level of foreign ownership, representing nearly 630 gigalitres.


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Graph Image for Australian owned water entitlements

Source(s): Agricultural Land and Water Ownership (cat. no. 7127.0)




The ALWOS estimate for the total volume of water entitlements used for agricultural purposes in Australia compares with an estimated 14,000 gigalitres published in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no 4618.0) for the 2002-03 reference year. This was the last time agricultural water entitlements data were published by the ABS. The difference is attributable to sampling variability, changed methods by which water entitlements are measured by water authorities in some states and territories, and the recent Australian Government water entitlement buy back. The ALWOS Australia total is considered statistically reliable. For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

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