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4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2004-05  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/11/2006   
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NOTES


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Michael Vardon on Canberra (02) 6252 7348.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The ABS is indebted to the many people and organisations that provided data for inclusion in this publication, and to those who refereed the draft tables and manuscript. The ABS acknowledges the important contributions from federal, State, Territory and local government agencies, water authorities and a range of private sector organisations. Without these contributions, this publication would not have been possible. The Water Account was partly funded by the National Water Commission and forms parts of the Australian Water Resources 2005 (AWR 2005) project <www.water.gov.au>.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


INTRODUCTION

Water Account, Australia presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy in 2004-05, compiled in accordance with the System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (UN 2003a). Figure 1.1 shows the flows of water within and between the economy and the environment and is useful for understanding the scope of the Water Account as well as providing an overview of key data. Additional data on other aspects of water use by particular industries (e.g. the agriculture and water supply, sewerage and drainage services industries) are presented in successive sections.


Environmental and economic accounting is an evolving field of statistics. Since the publication of the first two editions of the Water Account, advances have been made in the theory and practice of water accounting nationally and overseas. In addition, Australia's governments have developed and begun implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative (NWI; COAG 2004). The NWI, which builds on the 1994 COAG agreement on reforming the Australian water industry, specifically mentions water resource accounting and calls for the annual compilation of water accounts. While the exact nature of these accounts is still being determined, it is apparent that the Water Accounts presented here are consistent with those envisaged in the NWI (see SKM 2006).


SEEA 2003

Internationally, the United Nations (UN) has published a draft handbook on the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting for Water (SEEAW) (UN 2006). Australia was a leading contributor to the development of SEEAW, which builds on the SEEA 2003 (UN 2003a). SEEAW has strengthened the conceptual foundations of the Water Accounts as well as providing guidance on the practical compilation of accounts.


Water Consumption and Water Use

Calculating water use by industries is not straightforward. Water use can include self-extracted water, distributed water, or reuse water, and sometimes a combination of all three sources are used. Calculating water use estimates for an industry or business is made more complicated when water is also supplied to other users, or when water is used in-stream. As such, simply adding self-extracted water, distributed water, and reuse water to derive a figure for total water use can be misleading.


In the Water Account, volumes of water used and supplied by each industry have been balanced to derive 'water consumption'. This figure takes into account the different characteristics of water supply and use of industries and is a way of standardising water use, allowing for comparisons between industries. As such, the following accounting identities have been used:


Total water use is equal to the sum of Distributed water use, Self-extracted water use and Reuse water use;


Water consumption is equal to the sum of Distributed water use, Self-extracted water use and Reuse water use less Water supplied to other users less In-stream use and less Distributed water use by the environment.


For most industries, water use and water consumption are the same as most industries do not have any in-stream use or supply water to other users. However water consumption will be considerably different for some industries, specifically the water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry, electricity and gas supply industry, mining industry, and manufacturing industry where in-stream water use and water supply volumes are significant.

1.1 Water supply and use in the Australian economy - 2004-05
Chart: 1.1 Water supply and use in the Australian economy—2004–05



Climate

Water supply and use in the Australian economy needs to be viewed in the context of Australia's climate. Annual rainfall variability is greater for Australia than any other continental region (Smith 1998). In particular, rainfall in the years preceding the Water Account reference periods (i.e. 2000-01 and 2004-05) is important as this plays a large part in determining the amount of water available in the environment as surface and groundwater as well as in dams and other water storages.


Graph 1.2 shows a peak in rainfall in 2000 followed by a trough in 2002. Many parts of Australia experienced below average rainfall in 2004-05, with drought conditions existing in some areas. Consequences of this included urban water restrictions and reduced availability of water for irrigators. Maps 1.3 and 1.4 also highlight the spatial differences in rainfall patterns in 2001 compared to 2005.

1.2 Annual rainfall - 1985 to 2005
Graph: 1.2 Annual rainfall—1985 to 2005


1.3 Percentage of mean annual rainfall, 1998-99 to 2000-01



Map: 1.3 Percentage of mean annual rainfall, 1998–99 to 2000–01

1.4 Percentage of mean annual rainfall, 2002-03 to 2004-05



Map: 1.4 Percentage of mean annual rainfall, 2002–03 to 2004–05

Data Quality and Comparability

The Water Account has drawn on data from a large number of sources. It made use of surveys conducted by the ABS and others, as well as publicly available information found on websites, research papers, annual reports, etc. There are nearly 100 references in the Bibliography, providing an indication of the breadth of information used to compile the Water Account. The data sources were of varying quality and the Explanatory Notes provide information on the degree of confidence, in qualitative terms, that can be placed in the estimates.


There have been a number of improvements in the data used to compile the 2004-05 Water Account. In particular, more data were sourced from ABS surveys in this edition of the Water Account than previous editions. This, together with increased cooperation and assistance from State, Territory and Australian government agencies as well as with the water providers, has led to substantial improvements in the quality of data. Revisions have also been made to the data for 2000-01. This allows for greater comparability between the 2000-01 and 2004-05 Water Accounts.


While every care has been taken to ensure consistency between 2000-01 and 2004-05, the changes between the reference periods need to be interpreted cautiously owing to differences in climate, data sources, data availability and data quality. Extreme care should be taken when making comparisons to the data included in the first Water Account in respect of the years 1993-94 to 1996-97 with the data for 2004-05 and 2000-01.


MAIN FINDINGS

Main findings include:

  • During 2004-05, 79,784 GL of water was extracted from the environment and used within the Australia economy. Of this amount, 11,337 GL was extracted by water providers, while water users directly extracted 68,447 GL.
  • Of the total volume extracted from the environment (79,784 GL), 62,445 GL was returned to the environment as regulated discharge, with 60,436 GL of this discharge being in-stream use, almost entirely by the electricity and gas supply industry (59,924 GL) for hydro-electric power generation.
  • In 2004-05, there were 413 water providers in Australia, supplying 11,337 GL of distributed water. This compares to 479 providers and 12,934 GL in 2000-01.
  • Water consumption was 18,767 GL in 2004-05, a decrease of 14% from 2000-01 when it was 21,703 GL.
  • The agriculture industry consumed the largest volume of water with 12,191 GL, representing 65% of water consumption in Australia in 2004-05. This is a decrease from 2000-01 when it was 14,989 GL and 69% of water consumption.
  • Water consumption by Households was 2,108 GL in 2004-05, accounting for 11% of water consumption in Australia. This compares with 2,278 GL in 2000-01 when it accounted for 10% of water consumption.
  • In 2004-05, Australia's large dams had a capacity of 83,853 GL. They contained 39,959 GL of water at 30 June 2005, a decline of 10% from 30 June 2004 when they contained 44,164 GL.
  • The 1,300 GL traded in 2004-05 represented 7% of water consumption and 4% of the entitlement volume of water access entitlements.

Tables 1.5 and 1.6 summarise much of the data contained in the Water Account.

1.5 Water account summary table, 2000-01 and 2004-05

Australia
2004-05
2000-01
2004-05
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT

Rainfall (GL)
na
2 789 424
406 562
146 928
865 973
147 773
639 609
75 189
505 623
1 767
Run-off (GL)(a)
385 924
242 779
30 266
14 266
93 018
1 285
24 560
32 084
47 151
149
Water extracted from environment (GL)
76 668
79 784
16 528
11 213
7 964
1 352
3 417
39 081
145
84
Water consumption (GL)
21 703
18 767
5 922
4 993
4 361
1 365
1 495
434
141
56
Capacity of large dams (GL)(c)
83 312
83 853
24 629
12 109
10 657
258
12 148
23 652
280
120
Volume in large dams (GL)(d)
na
39 959
8 200
4 729
5 309
116
10 135
11 191
196
82
Entitlements (GL)
na
29 831
13 302
6 680
4 397
1 661
2 547
1 038
140
66
Allocations (GL)
na
na
9 799
4 734
na
1 661
2 547
1 038
140
66
Trade (GL)(e)(f)
na
1 300
424
502
214
83
71
43
-
-
Population ('000)
19 387
20 329
6 774
5 022
3 964
1 542
2 010
485
203
325
Area (000 km2)
7 673
7 673
800
227
1 726
983
2 522
67
1 345
2
Gross State Product ($m)(g)
752 434
838 251
290 746
212 243
144 701
56 737
92 339
14 794
9 381
17 309

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) For 2000-01 this is the Mean Annual Run-off as reported in the Water Resource Assessment 2000 (NLWRA 2001) and the 2000-01 Water Account, Australia.
(b) Includes water extracted for the purpose of use.
(c) Volume at 30 June and includes 'dead' storage.
(d) Volume at 30 June.
(e) Temporary and permanent trades.
(f) Total for Australia cannot be calculated by taking the sum of the States and Territories as this would double count interstate trades.
(g) Chain volume measure.

1.6 Water consumption, 2000-01 and 2004-05

Australia
2004-05
2000-01
2004-05
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL
GL

Agriculture
14 989
12 191
4 133
3 281
2 916
1 020
535
258
47
1
Forestry and fishing(a)
44
51
11
8
3
1
25
4
1
-
Mining
321
413
63
32
83
19
183
16
17
-
Manufacturing
549
589
126
114
158
55
81
49
6
1
Electricity and gas
255
271
75
99
81
3
13
-
1
-
Water supply(b)(c)
2 165
2 083
631
793
426
71
128
20
8
5
Other industries
1 102
1 059
310
262
201
52
168
18
30
17
Household
2 278
2 108
572
405
493
144
362
69
31
31
Total
21 703
18 767
5 922
4 993
4 361
1 365
1 495
434
141
56

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes Services to agriculture; hunting and trapping.
(b) Includes Sewerage and drainage services.
(c) Includes water losses.



WATER SUPPLY AND USE

This section presents information on the volume of water supplied and used within the Australian economy in 2004-05. Water consumption by the States and Territories is presented, as well as water consumption by main industry groups. The industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1993 (ANZSIC) (ABS and New Zealand Department of Statistics 1993) but have been adapted. For example, agriculture is split by commodity, not by lower level ANZSIC classes.


WATER CONSUMPTION BY INDUSTRY

Graph 1.7 shows water consumption, by industry, for Australia in 2004-05 and 2000-01. Water consumption in Australia for 2004-05 was 18,767 GL compared to 21,702 GL in 2000-01. The agriculture industry had the highest water consumption in 2004-05, accounting for 12,191 GL (or 65%), a decrease from 14,989 GL in 2000-01. Households were the next highest consumer of water in 2004-05, accounting for 2,108 GL (or 11%) of water consumption. The water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry was also a significant consumer of water, accounting for 2,083 GL (or 11%) of water consumption (mostly due to losses in distribution), followed by manufacturing with 589 GL (or 3%).

1.7 Water consumption, Australia - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.7 Water consumption, Australia—2000–01 and 2004–05



WATER CONSUMPTION BY STATE AND TERRITORY

For 2004-05, water providers and users in the Australian Capital Territory have given the ABS consent to publish data which may identify them. However, to allow comparisons with 2000-01 data, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have been amalgamated for Graph 1.8.


New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory combined, water consumption was 5,978 GL during 2004-05 compared to 8,783 GL in 2000-01. In 2004-05, the highest consumer was the agriculture industry with 4,134 GL or 69% of water consumption. This was followed by the water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry which consumed 637 GL or 11% of water.

1.8 Water consumption, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.8 Water consumption, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory—2000–01 and 2004–05



Victoria

In Victoria, 4,993 GL of water was consumed in 2004-05 compared to 5,375 GL in 2000-01. The agriculture industry was the highest consumer of water in Victoria in 2004-05 (Graph 1.9), with 3,281 GL (or 66%) of Victoria's water consumption. Dairy farming was the main consumer within the agriculture industry, with 1,710 GL (or 52% of Agricultural water consumption in Victoria). The water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry was the next highest consumer of water, accounting for 793 GL (or 16%). Households were also a significant consumer of water with 405 GL or 8% of Victoria's water consumption.

1.9 Water consumption, Victoria - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.9 Water consumption, Victoria—2000–01 and 2004–05



Queensland

In Queensland, 4,361 GL of water was consumed in 2004-05 compared to 4,267 GL in 2000-01. The agriculture industry consumed the most water in 2004-05 with 2,916GL or 67% of Queensland's water consumption. Sugar and Cotton were the main consumers within the agriculture industry, with 1,116 GL and 857 GL consumed respectively. The next largest consumers were Households, with 493 GL or 11% of Queensland's water consumption (Graph 1.10).

1.10 Water consumption, Queensland - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.10 Water consumption, Queensland—2000–01 and 2004–05



South Australia

Water consumption in South Australia was 1,365 GL in 2004-05 compared to 1,383 GL in 2000-01. The agriculture industry was the largest consumer of water in 2004-05, accounting for 1,020 GL or 75% of South Australia's water consumption. Livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture had the highest water consumption within the agriculture industry with 483 GL (or 47%) followed by Grapes with 204 GL (or 20%). Households were also large consumers of water with 144 GL or 11% of South Australia's water consumption (Graph 1.11).

1.11 Water consumption, South Australia - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.11 Water consumption, South Australia—2000–01 and 2004–05



Western Australia

In Western Australia, 1,495 GL of water was consumed in 2004-05 compared to 1,353 GL in 2000-01. In 2004-05, the agriculture industry consumed the largest volume (535 GL or 36%) followed by Households (362 GL or 24%) (Graph 1.12). Consumption by the mining industry was also substantial (183 GL or 12%).

1.12 Water consumption, Western Australia - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.12 Water consumption, Western Australia—2000–01 and 2004–05



Tasmania

Water consumption was 434 GL in Tasmania in 2004-05 compared to 408 GL in 2000-01. In 2004-05, the agriculture industry was the largest consumer accounting for 258 GL or 59% of water consumption in the State (Graph 1.13). Households were also a major consumer of water in Tasmania, with 69 GL or 16%. The manufacturing industry consumed 49 GL or 11%. Most of the water consumed by the manufacturing industry in Tasmania, was by the wood and paper products industry (71% of water consumption by the manufacturing industry in Tasmania).

1.13 Water consumption, Tasmania - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.13 Water consumption, Tasmania—2000–01 and 2004–05



Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, 141 GL of water was consumed in 2004-05 compared to 134 GL in 2000-01. In 2004-05, the agriculture industry accounted for 47 GL (or 33%) (Graph 1.14). The next highest consumer of water was households, consuming 31 GL (or 22%).

1.14 Water consumption, Northern Territory - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.14 Water consumption, Northern Territory—2000–01 and 2004–05




WATER SUPPLY, SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE

This section presents information on the water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry (here after shortened to the water supply industry) as well as on the supply of distributed and reuse water in Australia for 2004-05.


DISTRIBUTED WATER

In 2004-05, water providers in Australia supplied 11,337 GL of distributed water. The quantity of distributed water supplied decreased 12% between 2000-01 and 2004-05. This was mostly due to a decrease of 1,704 GL or 24% in agriculture (Table 1.15). Significant periods of below average rainfall and drought have occurred over this time, causing a reduction in allocations to Irrigation/rural water providers, therefore reducing the quantity of water available for supply to customers.

1.15 Use of distributed water, by industry - 2000-01 and 2004-05

NSW(a)
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT(a)
Australia
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

2004-05
Agriculture
1 584 192
2 228 353
1 044 275
194 820
262 698
14 674
-
-
5 329 012
Forestry and fishing(b)
6 446
721
302
29
15 444
1 408
91
33
24 474
Mining
6 586
3 742
42 015
756
15 783
24
3 297
-
72 203
Manufacturing
103 971
102 769
69 303
23 960
28 343
11 617
724
621
341 308
Electricity and gas supply
7 839
21 759
77 459
1 036
6 511
102
14
-
114 720
Water supply(c)(d)
621 052
777 848
419 673
71 331
125 212
17 666
8 026
3 720
2 044 529
Other industries(e)
139 314
105 779
157 008
26 232
56 107
7 989
27 441
11 549
531 419
Household
545 423
388 991
457 916
142 279
226 151
56 905
25 396
30 989
1 874 050
Environment
96 990
373 929
383 606
713
18
118 718
1 103
30 200
1 005 277
Total
3 111 812
4 003 891
2 651 558
461 157
736 268
229 102
66 091
77 112
11 336 992
2000-01
Agriculture
2 889 687
2 536 996
1 106 552
221 145
264 412
14 347
-
na
7 033 139
Forestry and fishing(b)
1 274
793
3 034
557
19 846
2 749
45
na
28 298
Mining
7 288
4 620
33 056
719
14 431
26
-
na
63 194
Manufacturing
93 724
101 399
69 159
25 048
23 955
14 097
3 054
na
327 927
Electricity and gas supply
9 550
20 687
72 601
813
1 791
36
546
na
105 478
Water supply(c)(d)
740 876
778 759
412 722
67 897
116 318
16 534
-
na
2 142 137
Other industries(e)
251 337
126 262
180 601
40 862
83 510
17 180
24 141
na
718 286
Household
637 754
445 739
495 749
159 215
240 642
53 216
9 031
na
2 056 455
Environment
200 528
253 172
4 462
873
-
358
18 534
na
459 393
Total
4 832 019
4 268 425
2 377 937
517 128
764 904
118 542
55 351
na
12 934 306

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) NSW and ACT were combined in 2000-01.
(b) Includes Services to agriculture; hunting & trapping.
(c) Includes Sewerage and drainage services.
(d) Includes water losses.
(e) Includes mainly Services and Administrative industries.


Origin of Distributed Water

The origin of the distributed water supplied by the water supply industry is presented in Table 1.16. The majority of the 11,160 GL distributed by the water supply industry originated from inland surface water (10,712 GL or 96%). Groundwater accounted for 448 GL (4%) of the total water extracted in Australia, just over half (229 GL) of which was in Western Australia. Desalination accounted for the remainder.

1.16 Origin of distributed water - 2004-05(a)

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Australia
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

Surface water
3 012 717
3 994 520
2 532 418
444 240
496 838
111 882
42 182
77 112
10 711 910
Groundwater
61 130
9 326
109 116
16 854
229 461
443
21 338
-
447 668
Desalinated water(b)
-
-
85
61
85
-
-
-
231
Total
3 073 847
4 003 846
2 641 619
461 155
726 384
112 325
63 520
77 112
11 159 809

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Water supply, sewerage and drainage industry only, excludes water provided by other industries.
(b) Includes sea water only.


REUSE WATER

Reuse water is drainage, waste or storm water that has been used again without being first discharged to the environment. It may have been treated to some extent. Reuse or recycled water is considered an important option for securing water supply into the future (AWA 2005). There is an increasing investment in infrastructure related to the supply of reuse water, and as such there is considerable interest in the volumes of reuse water supplied and used. In addition, water management authorities are interested in whether reuse water is reducing the demand for distributed water or self-extracted water.


The use of reuse water is presented in Graph 1.17. The agriculture industry used the majority of reuse water (280 GL or 66% of total reuse), followed by other industries, which includes parks, gardens and sporting fields (14%) and the water supply industry (9%). In 2000-01, agriculture also used the majority of reuse water (83%), followed by other industries (8%) and the water supply industry (5%).

1.17 Use of reuse water, Australia - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.17 Use of reuse water, Australia—2000–01 and 2004–05



The use of reuse water supplied by urban water providers is presented in Table 1.18. Major users of urban reuse include agriculture, parks and gardens and the water supply industry.

1.18 Urban use of reuse water - 2004-05(a)

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Australia
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

Agriculture
19 204
25 945
10 232
18 139
54
1 846
276
-
75 696
Forestry
1 639
2 860
650
23
3 749
28
243
-
9 192
Mining
5 695
-
-
-
26
-
-
-
5 721
Manufacturing
410
509
7 589
-
1 887
-
-
-
10 395
Water supply(b)
10 080
15 370
6 418
-
2 825
1 956
-
1 634
38 283
Households
1 370
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 370
Parks etc.(c)
9 756
24 295
15 669
1 484
6 621
451
1 333
555
60 164
Other(d)
1 594
672
4 189
845
101
1
-
-
7 402
Total
49 748
69 651
44 747
20 491
15 263
4 282
1 852
2 189
208 223

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes reuse supplied or used by Major, Non-major and Minor urban water providers.
(b) Includes Sewerage and drainage services.
(c) Includes gardens, race tracks, sporting fields.
(d) Includes electricity generation, construction, aquaculture, firefighting, education activities.


WATER SUPPLY INDUSTRY

Water providers are generally grouped according to the number of connections or customers served. In general, the provision of water from a water main to a customer meter constitutes a water service connection. Of the 384 water providers in the water supply industry, 235 were Minor urban (less than 10,000 connections), 61 were Non-major urban (between 10,000 and 50,000 connections), 29 were Major urban (greater than 50,000 connections) and 59 were Irrigation/rural (businesses that supply predominantly to agriculture) (Graph 1.19). There were also 29 businesses that supplied water, sewerage and/or drainage services but whose main economic activity was other than supplying water (for example, businesses in the mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas supply industries).

1.19 Number of water providers, by type of water provider - 2004-05
Graph: 1.19 Number of water providers, by type of water provider—2004–05



Irrigation/rural water providers were the main suppliers of distributed water in 2004-05 accounting for 6,637 GL or 59% (Graph 1.20) of the total distributed water supply.

1.20 Proportion of distributed water supply(a), by type of water provider - 2004-05
Graph: 1.20 Proportion of distributed water supply(a), by type of water provider—2004–05



SEWERAGE, DRAINAGE AND REGULATED DISCHARGE

The water discharged from the economy to the environment may be regulated or unregulated. Regulated discharge refers to water discharged after use where that discharge does not match the natural flow regime of the receiving water body. For example, the waste water discharged by sewerage service providers is a regulated discharge. It is likely that drainage water from Irrigation/rural water providers makes a significant contribution to regulated discharge, but this is mostly unmeasured. Currently, the regulated discharge recorded for Irrigation/rural water providers is only 10% of the regulated discharge of the water supply industry.


Of the 1,809 GL discharged by the water supply industry, 68% was discharged to the sea, 31% was discharged to inland surface water, with the remaining 1% discharged to groundwater (Table 1.21).

1.21 Regulated discharge(a), Water supply industry, by receiving body - 2004-05

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Australia
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

Surface water
172 960
176 768
137 548
3 137
10 141
21 491
4 023
27 293
553 361
Groundwater
5 194
6 441
3 145
780
7 928
7
-
-
23 495
Sea water
481 914
344 891
168 765
80 398
112 785
36 105
7 118
-
1 231 976
Total
660 068
528 100
309 458
84 315
130 854
57 603
11 141
27 293
1 808 832

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes waste and drainage water discharged.



AGRICULTURE

This section examines the use of water within the agriculture industry in Australia. Water used by this industry includes stock drinking water and water applied through irrigation to crops and pastures. Water can be directly extracted from the environment by farmers (e.g. from bores, on-farm dams, rivers) or supplied by water providers (e.g. irrigation authorities). The use of rainwater is not included in this section.


To calculate the amount of water used by the agriculture industry, the ABS has used information collected from irrigation authorities, data on water use, irrigated area and livestock numbers from the ABS 2004-05 Agricultural Survey, as well as additional information available from State and Territory agricultural departments and research institutions. Additional detail on the methodology is found in the Explanatory Notes.


Water Consumption

Water consumption by the agriculture industry was 12,191 GL in 2004-05, accounting for 65% of total water consumption in Australia during that period.


In 2004-05, the Livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture commodities had the highest water consumption within the agriculture industry, with 4,374 GL (or 36%). This was followed by Dairy farming (2,276 GL or 19%), Cotton (1,822 GL or 15%) and Sugar (1,269 GL or 10%) (Graph 1.22). The largest percentage decreases in water consumption from 2000-01 to 2004-05 were in Rice (72%) and Cotton (37%).

1.22 Total water use, Agriculture, by activity - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.22 Total water use, Agriculture, by activity—2000–01 and 2004–05



Water Source

The majority of the water consumed by the agriculture industry in 2004-05 was self-extracted water (6,582 GL or 54%), with distributed water (5,329 GL or 44%) and reuse water (280 GL or 2%) accounting for the remainder (Table 1.23). The highest self-extracted water use within the agriculture industry in 2004-05 was by Livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture (2,594 GL) and Cotton (1,697 GL).

1.23 Water consumption, Agriculture, by water type and activity - 2004-05

Self-extracted
Distributed
Reuse
Total
ML
ML
ML
ML

Dairy farming
856 993
1 339 473
79 136
2 275 603
Vegetables
307 033
132 544
15 796
455 373
Sugar
404 068
858 767
6 177
1 269 012
Fruit
306 978
339 315
1 370
647 662
Grapes
191 363
522 029
3 655
717 047
Cotton
1 697 245
122 071
2 194
1 821 509
Rice
224 806
394 158
11 908
630 872
Livestock, pasture, grains & other
Livestock
935 396
100 078
-
1 035 474
Pasture(a)
1 000 850
887 144
39 898
1 927 892
Grains
461 815
582 098
118 356
1 162 268
Other
195 887
51 337
1 436
248 659
Total
2 593 948
1 620 656
159 689
4 374 293
Total
6 582 435
5 329 012
279 925
12 191 372

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Excludes pasture for Dairy farming.


Origin of Water

The majority of self-extracted water use by the agriculture industry in 2004-05 originated from surface water (74%), while groundwater accounted for 23% (Table 1.24).

1.24 Origin of agricultural water - 2004-05

Surface water
Groundwater
Other(a)
Total all sources
%
%
%
ML

NSW(b)
73
25
2
4 133 768
Vic.
84
12
4
3 281 389
Qld
76
23
2
2 916 138
SA
45
46
9
1 019 841
WA
69
26
15
535 312
Tas.
92
6
2
257 819
NT
18
82
-
47 105
Australia
74
23
3
12 191 372

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes town or country distributed supply, recycled or re-used water from off farm sources and other.
(b) Includes the Australian Capital Territory.


Irrigated Land

Map 1.25 shows irrigated crops and pastures as a percentage of total land use in Australia, by drainage division. The majority of intensive crop and pasture irrigation occurs in the Murray-Darling drainage division.

1.25 Area irrigated, Australia, by drainage division-2004-05

Map: 1.25 Area irrigated, Australia, by drainage division—2004–05



Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production

Estimating the value of agricultural production that results from irrigation is difficult. This is because water used by crops comes from a variety of sources. In particular, rainwater, which is not included in the Water Account, is usually a component of the water used by irrigated crops, and the timing and location of rainfalls affect the amount of irrigation water required.


In addition, water is not the only input to agricultural production from irrigated land. Land, fertiliser, labour, machinery and other inputs are also used. To separate the contribution that these factors make to total production is practically impossible with current data. Therefore, the estimates of the gross value of irrigated agricultural production presented in Table 1.26 attribute all of the gross value of production from irrigated land to irrigated agricultural production.


The total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2004-05 was $9,076 million (Table 1.26) compared to $9,618 million in 2000-01. The decrease in gross value of irrigated production mainly occurred in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory combined, from $2,371 million in 2000-01 to $1,867 million in 2004-05. Between 2000-01 and 2004-05 there were significant reductions in the value of irrigated production of cotton (from $1,222 million to $908 million) and rice (from $350 million to $102 million).

1.26 Gross value of irrigated agricultural production, 2000-01 and 2004-05

Australia
2004-05
2000-01
2004-05
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

Dairy farming
1 499
1 632
204
1 090
108
88
71
70
-
-
Vegetables
1 817
1 761
207
411
561
266
165
147
4
-
Sugar
284
477
1
-
471
-
5
-
-
-
Fruit
1 590
1 777
296
524
494
263
118
49
32
-
Grapes
1 355
1 314
252
336
16
600
89
12
8
1
Cotton
1 222
908
513
-
395
-
-
-
-
-
Rice
350
102
100
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
Nurseries, cut flowers & turf
763
737
160
244
173
44
95
14
4
3
Livestock, pasture, grains & other
737
367
130
71
129
22
3
12
-
-
Total
9 618
9 076
1 864
2 677
2 349
1 284
545
304
49
3

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)



MINING AND MANUFACTURING

This section presents data on water use in the mining and manufacturing industries. These industries use water for cleaning, cooling, product movement, dust suppression and as a raw material. The mining and manufacturing industries use water from both distributed supply and self-extracted sources. In addition, there is a growing use of reuse water in both of these industries.


MINING

Water Use

Total water use in the Mining industry was 608,575 ML in 2004-05, a 34% increase from 2000-01 when it was 452,468 ML. In 2004-05 the metal ore mining industry had the highest total water use within the mining industry (364,998 ML), followed by coal mining (154,972 ML) (Graph 1.27). In Western Australia, there was an 81% increase in total water use by the Mining industry between 2000-01 and 2004-05, primarily in the metal ore mining industry.

1.27 Water use, Mining, by industry - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.27 Water use, Mining, by industry—2000–01 and 2004–05



MANUFACTURING

The manufacturing industry consists of nine subdivisions. Water use varies considerably between these subdivisions due to the different nature of the products manufactured.


Water Use

Total water use in the manufacturing industry was 600,505 ML in 2004-05, a 9% increase from 2000-01 when it was 548,887 ML. In 2004-05, the food, beverage and tobacco industry had the highest water use within the manufacturing industry (215,029 ML), followed by the metal products (157,370 ML), wood and paper products (99,238 ML), and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated products (70,324 ML) industries (Graph 1.28).

1.28 Water use, Manufacturing, by industry - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.28 Water use, Manufacturing, by industry—2000–01 and 2004–05




ELECTRICITY GENERATORS

Electricity generators are a significant user of water. Most of the water is used for hydro-electricity power generation, but coal-fired power stations also use considerable amounts of water in their boilers and cooling towers. Water used for hydro-electricity power generation is not a consumptive use as the water extracted passes through turbines to generate electricity and is discharged and made available to downstream users. Therefore water use for hydro-electricity power generation is treated differently from other water uses and is called in-stream use. Water consumption by electricity generation is largely due to evaporation from cooling towers.


Water Use

Total water use by electricity generators was 60,292 GL, a 10% increase since 2000-01 (54,787 GL) (Table 1.29). This volume excludes sea water which is important to the operations of some businesses in this industry - only freshwater is in scope for the supply and use tables (see Explanatory Notes). Self-extracted water accounted for practically all total water use (60,172 GL or 99.8%) by electricity generators in 2004-05.

1.29 Water use and water consumption, electricity generators - 2000-01 and 2004-05

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Australia
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

2004-05
Self-extracted
10 781 364
6 051 163
3 217 027
285
1 841 998
38 278 873
1 124
-
60 171 834
Distributed
7 764
21 714
77 459
1 011
6 476
97
14
-
114 535
Reuse
1 318
-
3 361
1 223
100
-
-
-
6 002
Total water use
(including
in-stream)
10 790 446
6 072 877
3 297 847
2 519
1 848 574
38 278 970
1 138
-
60 292 371
Total water use
(excluding
in-stream)
112 039
98 782
80 984
2 519
12 808
116 874
1 138
-
425 144
Water consumption
75 214
98 757
80 506
2 517
12 806
97
1 138
-
271 035
2000-01
Self-extracted
8 023 412
6 087 306
1 448 997
595
1 711 684
37 404 500
661
-
54 677 155
Distributed
9 330
20 642
72 551
756
1 746
36
-
-
105 060
Reuse
1 210
2 766
106
720
-
-
-
-
4 802
Total water use
(including
in-stream)
8 033 952
6 110 714
1 521 654
2 071
1 713 430
37 404 536
661
-
54 787 017
Total water use
(excluding
in-stream)
68 187
107 903
74 049
2 071
14 375
36
661
-
267 282
Water consumption
59 200
107 767
70 855
1 709
14 372
36
661
-
254 600

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)


Graph 1.30 shows total water use by electricity generators by State and Territory for 2004-05. The largest user was Tasmania, which used a total of 38,279 GL in 2004-05. The next largest users were New South Wales (10,790 GL) and Victoria (6,073 GL).

1.30 Water use(a), electricity generators - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.30 Water use(a), electricity generators—2000–01 and 2004–05




HOUSEHOLDS

This section presents data on water use by Australian Households, also referred to as domestic water use. For the purpose of the Water Account, water used by Households is defined as any water that is used for human consumption (such as for drinking and cooking) as well as water used by Households for cleaning or outdoors (such as water for gardens and swimming pools).


Water Consumption

Graph 1.31 shows that New South Wales consumed the largest volume of water for Household use (572,711 ML) followed by Queensland (492,908 ML) and Victoria (404,632 ML), broadly in line with population for the States and Territories. Total Household water consumption decreased in all States and Territories from 2000-01 to 2004-05 with the exception of Tasmania. The largest percentage decrease in total Household water consumption was in the Australian Capital Territory (15%) followed by South Australia (13%).

1.31 Water consumption, households - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.31 Water consumption, households—2000–01 and 2004–05



Water Source

Of the total water consumed by Households in 2004-05, 89% was distributed water and 11% was water from a self-extracted source (i.e. rainwater tanks and direct extraction from surface or groundwater) (Table 1.32). In 2000-01 Households sourced a similar proportion of total water consumption from distributed water (90%). Western Australia had the highest percentage of use of a self-extracted source (38%) followed by the Northern Territory (18%).

1.32 Household water consumption, by water type - 2000-01 and 2004-05

Australia
2004-05
2000-01
2004-05
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML
ML

Self-extracted
221 550
232 446
25 521
15 641
34 992
2 161
135 890
12 526
5 715
-
Distributed
2 056 455
1 874 050
545 423
388 991
457 916
142 279
226 151
56 905
25 396
30 989
Reuse
167
1 767
1 767
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Total
2 278 173
2 108 263
572 711
404 632
492 908
144 440
362 041
69 431
31 111
30 989

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Sums may not necessarily equal totals due to rounding.


Average Water Use

Australians on average consumed 103 kL/capita during 2004-05 compared to 2000-01 where average water consumption per capita was 120 kL/capita (Graph 1.33). Western Australia reported the highest Household water consumption per capita (180 kL/capita), followed by Northern Territory (153 kL/capita). Victoria had the lowest average Household water consumption per capita (81 kL/capita) followed by New South Wales (84 kL/capita).

1.33 Household water consumption, per capita - 2000-01 and 2004-05
Graph: 1.33 Household water consumption, per capita—2000–01 and 2004–05




WATER ACCESS ENTITLEMENTS, ALLOCATIONS AND TRADING

This section presents a summary on the number of water access entitlements, the volume of water allocated to water access entitlements, and water trading in Australia in 2004-05. All data have been provided by the relevant Government agencies in each State and Territory, or obtained from publicly available sources. Detailed data at the State, Territory and water management area level are presented in the publication Water Access Entitlements, Allocations and Trading, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4610.0.55.003).


Water Access Entitlements and Allocations

A water access entitlement is a perpetual or ongoing entitlement to exclusive access to a share of water from a specified consumptive pool as defined in the relevant water plan. The entitlement volume is the share or base volume of water associated with a water access entitlement.


A water allocation is the specific volume of water allocated to a water access entitlement in a given season, defined according to rules established in the relevant water plan. The allocated volume is the specific volume of water allocated to water access entitlements for the reference year.


In 2004-05, there were 223,556 water access entitlements in Australia with a total entitlement volume of 29,831 GL (Table 1.34). New South Wales had the highest number of water access entitlements in Australia, with 118,110 (or 53%) of the total water access entitlements in Australia. New South Wales also had the highest entitlement volume in Australia in 2004-05, with 13,302 GL (or 45%) of the total entitlement volume.

1.34 Water access entitlements and allocations - 2004-05

Number of entitlements
Entitlement volume
Allocated volume
no.
ML
ML

NSW(a)
118 110
13 301 851
9 798 575
Vic.(b)
25 514
6 680 334
4 733 845
Qld(c)
48 591
4 397 481
na
SA
10 399
1 660 584
1 660 584
WA
17 513
2 546 643
2 546 643
Tas.
3 110
1 038 419
1 038 419
NT
166
139 959
139 959
ACT
153
66 150
66 150
Australia
223 556
29 831 421
na

na not available
(a) Maximum available water has been used for allocated volume in New South Wales.
(b) Volume taken has been used as a proxy for allocated volume in Victoria.
(c) Excludes 1,931 water licences without a volumetric entitlement volume in Queensland.


Water Trading

Australia is one of a small number of water-scarce countries that has instituted markets for trading water. While not explicitly defined in the NWI, water trading is the term used to describe transactions involving water access entitlements or the water allocations assigned to water access entitlements. Trading can occur on a permanent or temporary basis.


Permanent water trades are transactions that permanently affect some aspect of a water access entitlement, such as changes to the ownership, water source, size of share, or reliability of the water access entitlement. With the separation of water access entitlements from land titles, a permanent water trade may involve a change of ownership, a change of location, or both. It should be noted that permanent trading data for New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania include trades that result in ownership changes from land sales, while Queensland has excluded these transactions. Therefore, comparisons between jurisdictions should be made with caution.


Temporary water trades are transactions that affect the seasonal water allocation associated with a water access entitlement, that is, the specific volume of water allocated to water access entitlements in a given season. They are generally conducted through leasing arrangements for a period of a year or less.


In 2004-05, 1,802 permanent and 13,456 temporary water trades were conducted in Australia with 248 GL of water traded permanently and 1,053 GL of water traded temporarily (Tables 1.35 and 1.36). The highest number of permanent and temporary water trades were conducted in Victoria (702 and 9,323 respectively). Victoria also had the highest volume of water temporarily traded in Australia with 444 GL. The highest volume of water traded permanently occurred in Western Australia with 63 GL.

1.35 Permanent water trading - 2004-05

water traded within
water traded into
water traded out
total water traded(a)
average price
no.
ML
no.
ML
no.
ML
no.
ML
$/ML

NSW
154
40 846
10
436
-
-
164
41 282
na
Vic.(b)
656
52 175
-
-
46
5 214
702
57 389
na
Qld
168
20 285
-
-
-
-
168
20 285
1 750
SA
328
28 643
36
4 778
-
-
364
33 421
na
WA
218
62 810
-
-
-
-
218
62 810
680
Tas.
232
37 603
-
-
-
-
232
37 603
na
NT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
ACT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Australia
1 756
242 362
46
5 214
46
5 214
1 802
247 576
na

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) Total for Australia cannot be calculated by taking the sum of the States and Territories as this would double count interstate trades.
(b) Sourced from the annual reports of rural water authorities in Victoria.

1.36 Temporary water trading - 2004-05

Water traded within
Water traded into
Water traded out
Total water traded(a)
Average price
no.
ML
no.
ML
no.
ML
no.
ML
$/ML

NSW(b)
1 739
316 506
117
37 848
186
28 196
2 042
382 550
96
Vic.(c)
9 042
396 723
179
19 259
102
28 281
9 323
444 263
na
Qld
1 874
194 195
-
-
-
-
1 874
194 195
na
SA
314
49 525
72
24 560
80
25 190
446
49 525
na
WA
8
8 617
-
-
-
-
8
8 617
80
Tas.
111
5 601
-
-
-
-
111
5 601
na
NT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
ACT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Australia
13 088
971 168
368
81 667
368
81 667
13 456
1 052 834
na

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) Total for Australia cannot be calculated by taking the sum of the States and Territories as this would double count interstate trades.
(b) Average price for New South Wales is only for those trades where price data were available.
(c) Sourced from the annual reports of rural water authorities in Victoria.



WATER STOCKS

This section presents information on Australia's water stocks and water storage infrastructure. This section of the Water Account has benefited from data on water resources compiled by the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS), CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, as well as improved data availability on dam storage from water providers and State and Territory governments. For water stocks it has allowed additional information on rainfall, run-off and dam storage levels to be included.


PHYSICAL WATER STOCKS

The data on rainfall in this account were provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS). Data on run-off, evapotranspiration and deep drainage (groundwater recharge and river base flow) were provided by the BRS. The modelling methods used to estimate run-off, evapotranspiration and deep drainage are described in Welsh et al. (2006) and are based on the work of Zhang et al. (2004, 2005) and Fu (1981).


Rainfall and runoff

For 2004-05, rainfall for Australia was estimated at 2,789,424 GL, the majority in Queensland (865,973 GL) followed by Western Australia (639,609 GL) and the Northern Territory (505,623 GL) (Table 1.37). Run-off for Australia was determined to be approximately 242,779 GL. The distribution of run-off was geographically uneven at the State and Territory level. Run-off was greatest in Queensland (93,018 GL) followed by the Northern Territory (47,151 GL) and Tasmania (32,084 GL).

1.37 Rainfall, run-off and land area - 2004-05

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Australia

Rainfall (GL)
406 562
146 928
865 973
147 773
639 609
75 189
505 623
1 767
2 789 424
Evapotranspiration (GL)
369 163
129 967
759 355
143 563
601 867
41 877
450 090
1 589
2 497 471
Run-off (GL)
30 266
14 266
93 018
1 285
24 560
32 084
47 151
149
242 779
Deep drainage (GL)
7 133
2 695
13 599
2 925
13 182
1 228
8 382
29
49 174
Bare ground (km2)
979
543
2 440
18 437
15 178
239
1 466
2
39 284
Agricultural land (km2)(a)
498 850
148 101
1 013 792
863 322
1 968 677
24 048
1 078 043
707
5 595 540
Forests and plantations (km2)
297 378
69 451
696 563
85 976
518 303
41 224
262 755
1 466
1 973 116
Intensive use / urban (km2)
2 645
3 037
2 239
909
697
275
141
180
10 123
Water (km2)
6 301
3 620
10 560
10 686
19 627
1 310
2 470
8
54 582
Total land area (km2)
804 059
226 846
1 725 594
979 330
2 522 482
67 096
1 344 875
2 363
7 672 645

(a) Includes dryland farming, irrigated areas and pasture.
Bureau of Rural Sciences, unpublished data


DAMS

Location

The location of large dams is influenced by topography, proximity to population and industry, and availability of run-off. Map 1.38 shows the location of large dams, by drainage division, throughout Australia.

1.38 Location of large dams, by drainage division-June 2005

Map: 1.38 Location of large dams, by drainage division—June 2005



Storage Levels

At 30 June 2005, there was 39,959 GL of water stored in large dams. The amount stored varies significantly between States and Territories (Graph 1.39). In June 2005 large dams in Western Australia (83%) and the Northern Territory (70%) had the highest storage levels in percentage terms. New South Wales (33%) and Victoria (39%), the States with the highest populations, had large dams with the lowest storage levels.

1.39 Large dam storage levels - June 2005
Graph: 1.39 Large dam storage levels—June 2005



Graph 1.40 illustrates how Australian water storage changed from 2001 to 2005. Drought conditions in 2002 and 2003 are reflected in the reduction of more than 20% of the water stored in large dams. Storage has not recovered to pre-2002 levels.

1.40 Large dam storage levels, Australia - 2001 to 2005
Graph: 1.40 Large dam storage levels, Australia—2001 to 2005


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