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3 One advantage of environmental-accounts is that by linking together physical and economic data in a consistent framework it is possible to undertake scenario modelling. Issues that can be modelled include future water demand, assessing relative efficiencies in interactions between different sectors of the economy and the environment, and resource implications of structural change.
4 When the ABS produced the 1993-94 to 1996-97 and 2000-01 Water Accounts, any readily available data on water resources from various government and non-government organisations was used and aggregated. This tied together industry, regional and State data into a single system showing the supply and use of water within the Australian economy.
5 To produce the 2004-05 and 2008-09 Water Accounts, an ABS survey of water providers was undertaken and supplementary questions were added to several existing ABS surveys. This approach simplified compilation of the account as well as reducing the time required to produce the account. The survey approach also helped to improve the comparability and consistency of data, allowing analysis and evaluation over time. As with previous Water Accounts, data from other sources was also used to fill gaps, as well as for data consistency and checking. The survey activity undertaken by the ABS for 2008-09 collected comprehensive data on all organisations supplying water in the water supply industry in Australia and more detailed information on water use from across the economy.
ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING FRAMEWORK
6 The Water Account Australia was developed using the System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) and the SEEA-Water (UN 2006a). SEEA was first published by the United Nations (UN) in 1993 (UN 1993a), and revised in 2003 (UN 2003a). SEEA is a supplementary account to the System of National Accounts 1993 (UN 1993b). Environmental accounts extend the boundaries of the System of National Accounts (SNA) framework to include environmental resources, which occur outside the economic production and asset boundaries measured by the SNA.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WATER ACCOUNTS AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS
7 Water supply and use tables provide a framework to link core components of the National Accounts to physical information. These tables are a component of physical input-output (I-O) tables and allow comparison of physical and monetary information through interactions between the economy and environment. Physical data are presented in supply and use tables while some linkages to economic data are also made.
PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE
8 Chapter 2 aggregates all available physical data (megalitres) in terms of the supply and use of water within the Australian economy for the financial year 2008-09. Supply and use tables include: self-extracted, distributed, and regulated discharge (including in-stream use) and effluent reuse.
9 The use of saline water (including water from estuaries) for power generation and other industrial uses, although measurable and reported, is not included in the supply and use tables. This is because the scope of the Water Account Australia is fresh water only.
10 Coverage for both supply and use tables includes the following:
11 Items not covered by the supply and use tables include:
12 Data have come from a range of ABS surveys as well as State, Territory and Local Government agencies, water authorities and industry organisations.
13 The main ABS surveys used were:
14 State and Territory government agencies and major businesses from which data was used in this publication include:
15 Surveys conducted by other government agencies, industry associations, as well as annual reports of water providers were used. These include:
Methods for Calculating Water Supply and Use
16 These notes are intended as a general guide to the method of calculating estimates of water supply and use. For more detail on the methods please contact the Director, Environmental Accounts and Water (EAW), Australian Bureau of Statistics.
17 Supply and use tables integrate data from a wide range of sources. Some of the water supply and use data are from decentralised sources as most water distribution is managed by local governments or privatised water authorities. The data collected from these sources were collated to a uniform standard and aggregated to a State and Territory level.
18 A complete list of water providers in 2008-09 was compiled from information supplied by State and Territory regulatory departments, industry bodies, and other water data providers. All water providers identified were surveyed in the ABS 2008-09 Water Supply and Sewerage Services Survey.
19 Water providers provided information on:
20 For agriculture;
21 For Mining and Manufacturing;
22 For electricity and gas;
23 For Other industries (see Glossary for list of industries) estimates of water use were sourced from the ABS 2008-09 Energy, Water and Environment Survey and information supplied by water providers, as well as the application of industry specific coefficients. Data on bore water use for parks and gardens in Western Australia was provided by Western Australia's Department of Water.
24 For household water use;
25 Key Commonwealth, State and Territory water agencies recognise two forms of water used for environmental flows:
26 Note that the Physical Supply and Use Tables presented in Chapter 2, show water supplied to the environment as Environmental Flows are included on the supply side of the tables in the Distributed column and on the use side of the tables in the Environment row in both the Distributed and Reuse columns. Note that for the 2004-05 Water Account Australia there were no data available for 'reuse' Environmental Flows.
27 Environmental Flows data presented in the 2008-09 Water Account Australia are primarily based on flows of 'held environmental water' as these are volumetric based (i.e. ML) and are reported by water suppliers. Rules-based environmental flows are not always recorded in volume terms and may not always be included within reporting of total environmental water flows. Therefore the estimates of environmental flows presented in the Water Account Australia are likely to be an underestimate and should be used with caution.
Data Quality and Reliability
28 Data for the Water Account Australia are from a range of sources with variable degrees of consistency and reliability.
29 All water supply, distributed water use and reuse water information was collected by the ABS and checked for coherance with other data sources. This information can be used with a high degree of confidence.
30 Data on self-extracted use was compiled from a range of sources. The degree of confidence that can be attached to these estimates is variable.
MONETARY SUPPLY AND USE
31 Chapter 3 aggregates all available monetary data (dollars) in terms of the supply and use of water within the Australian economy for the financial year 2008-09. Supply and use tables illustrate the economic transactions associated with the use of water and the provisions of sewerage, waste water and drainage services.
32 This chapter covers the following:
33 The scope of the chapter is limited to "net distributed water" which in this context, is defined as water that has been supplied from one economic unit to another for a fee, creating a measurable economic transaction. The net distributed water excludes distribution losses and supply to the environment for which there is no matching economic transaction.
34 Many businesses and households use self-extracted water for their own use, such as farms for irrigation or hydro power plants to generate electricity. Estimates for the value of self-extracted water have not been included in this chapter due to lack of data.
35 Data presented in this chapter are drawn from a variety of sources including those used by the physical supply and use chapter. In addition to these sources, the following ABS data were used:
36 Administrative sources of data used in the monetary accounts:
Methods for Calculating Monetary Supply and Use
37 The data collected from these sources were collated to a uniform standard and aggregated to a State and Territory level.
38 Output and value added
39 For households
40 For governments
41 For other industries
Data Quality and Reliability
42 At the most aggregated level, such as for the total revenue from sales of water and water related services by the Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services industry (i.e. the supply side estimates), are of high quality. There is less confidence in the estimates of revenue from sales of rural distributed water in some states due to lack of information.
43 Use side estimates for industries and governments were based on several ABS surveys and National Accounts data. There is a lack of information on expenditure on water and related services by industries and governments. Therefore, compared to the supply side, there is less confidence in these estimates.
GROSS VALUE OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION - CHAPTER 5
44 The Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (GVIAP) was estimated using data from the ABS 2008-09 Agricultural Survey (see Agricultural Commodities, 2008-09, Australia (ABS cat. no. 7121.0), and Water Use on Australian Farms, 2008-09, (ABS cat. no. 4618.0), the ABS 2009 Vineyards survey (see Vineyards Estimates, Australia, 2008-09, (ABS cat. no. 1329.0.55.002) as well as other ABS collections and administrative data used to calculate the value of agricultural commodities produced (see Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, 2008-09, Australia, (ABS cat. no. 7503.0)).
Method of Calculation
45 The ABS methodology for calculating GVIAP is described in the information paper Methods of estimating the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.006). The GVIAP statistics presented in the 2008-09 Water Account Australia and the publication Experimental Estimates of the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2000-01 to 2008-09 (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) are derived using this method. This method is different from that used in previous editions of the Water Account Australia and the resulting GVIAP estimates are not directly comparable.
46 The ABS 2008-09 Agricultural Survey and 2009 Vineyards survey collected information that included area and production of crops, livestock numbers and products, area of crops/pastures irrigated and volume of water applied. The ABS also collects and publishes data on the value of agricultural commodities produced (see ABS cat. no. 7503.0). By using these primary data sources, estimates of the gross value of irrigated agricultural production were made.
47 Different methods were used for different commodities, with the method used dependent on the nature of the commodity and the availability of data. For rice, 100% of the gross value of agricultural production was attributed to irrigation. For cotton, sugar and grapes, the volume of the production from irrigated land was collected directly via the ABS 2008-09 Agricultural Survey. The volumes (in kg/tonnes) were then applied to the unit price values of these commodities in the respective states and territories.
48 Note that for dairy production, GVIAP refers to the value of milk produced from cattle grazing on irrigated land. For dairy production an assumption was made that if there was any irrigation of grazing land on a farm that was involved in any dairy production, then all dairy production on that farm is classified as irrigated.
49 For meat cattle, sheep and other livestock, GVIAP refers to the value of cattle, calves, sheep, lambs and other grazing livestock slaughtered, as well as the value of wool, from livestock grazing on irrigated land. GVIAP for meat cattle, sheep and other livestock was estimated by taking the average of two other methods:
50 For all other commodities a yield formula was developed to account for the difference in production that results from irrigation. It uses an estimated ratio of irrigated to non-irrigated yield for each commodity. This ratio is referred to as the "yield difference factor". GVIAP is calculated at the unit (farm) level, using three simple rules:
b. If the area of the commodity group irrigated is greater than zero but less than the total area of the commodity group grown/sown, then a “yield formula” is applied, with a “yield difference factor”, to calculate GVIAP for the irrigated area of the commodity group;
c. If the area of the commodity group irrigated = 0, then GVIAP = 0 for that commodity group.
51 It is important to note that the majority of cases follow rules 1 and 3; that is, the commodity group on a particular farm is either 100% irrigated or not irrigated at all. For example, in 2004-05, 90% of total GVAP came from commodity groups that were totally irrigated or not irrigated at all. Therefore, only 10% of GVAP had to be "split" into either "irrigated" or "non-irrigated" using the “yield formula” (described below). The yield formula is explained in full in the information paper Methods of estimating the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.006).
52 Yield difference factors are the estimated ratio of irrigated to non-irrigated yield for a given commodity group. They are calculated for a particular commodity group by taking the yield (production per hectare sown/grown) of all farms that fully irrigated the commodity group and dividing this "irrigated" yield by the yield of all farms that did not irrigate the commodity group. The yield difference factors used here were determined by analysing data from 2000-01 to 2005-06 and are reported for each commodity group in Appendix 1 of the information paper Methods of estimating the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.006). It is anticipated that the yield difference factors will be reviewed following release of data from the 2010-11 Agricultural Census.
Data Quality and Reliability
53 Calculation of the gross value of irrigated production is based on several assumptions so these estimates should be used and interpreted cautiously.
54 The next release of the Water Account Australia, in respect of 2009-10, is scheduled for November 2011. A separate release containing physical and monetary supply and use data for 2000-01 to 2008-09 inclusive is scheduled for 2011. This will include the updates to ANZSIC classifications and address methodological issues enabling better comparisons between water accounts.
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