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4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/04/2012   
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1 Water Account Australia presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy, compiled in accordance with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). It also provides information on the water use and consumption practices of key industries (Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing, Water supply, sewerage and drainage services) and households. In April 2012 physical supply and use tables (data cubes) for the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) were released.


2 These notes are intended as a general guide for the methods used in calculating estimates of water supply and use. For more details on the methods used please refer to the Explanatory Notes for the national Water Account Australia or contact the Director, Environmental Accounts, Australian Bureau of Statistics.

3 For Water supply;

Water utilities from the Water Supply Survey were identified within the MDB based on geographic spatial coding of address information contained within the Australian Business Register, Local Government Area (LGA) boundaries and ABS meshblock population estimates.

Of the 152 water utilities supplying to the MDB region:

    • 125 water utilities supplied water exclusively within the MDB region, accounting for approximately 52% of the total MDB water supply.
    • 27 water utilities operated on the boundary of the MDB region, supplying to regions within and immediately surrounding the MDB. The volume of water supplied into the MDB region from these utilities accounted for 48% of the total MDB water supply.

For the 27 water utilities operating on the MDB boundary, data were derived from a concordance of LGAs falling within the MDB region. For each of these LGAs, MDB estimates were derived by applying the proportion of the served population in the LGA that was within the MDB.

4 For Agriculture;

The MDB estimates (physical supply and use tables) presented in this publication are different to those data presented in Water Use on Australian Farms, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4618.0) (ABS 2010), for the following reasons:
    • multiple data sources were used in the 2009–10 Water Account Australia, compared to the single source of ABS agricultural survey data used for Water Use on Australian Farms, 2009–10;
    • the physical supply and use tables presented in this publication provide an industry view of agriculture, whereas the publication Water Use on Australian Farms presents an activity view. The Agriculture industry view presents only the agricultural activity that occurs in businesses where the primary income producing activity (i.e. the activity with value added that exceeds the value added of any other activity carried out by the same business) of the business is agricultural production. Businesses which undertake some agricultural activity but for which other activities provide most of the income are excluded from the Agriculture industry view. For example, the agricultural production from a business which generates most of its income from transporting agricultural produce would be attributed to the Transport industry.
    • water use estimates for Victoria and the Victorian region of the MDB were supplemented with information from the Victorian Water Register (Department of Sustainability and Environment, State Government Victoria, 2011);
    • the location of agricultural businesses was geo-coded (using points of latitude and longitude) to provide estimates for the MDB. The MDB data used in Water Use on Australian Farms, 2009–10 were derived from a concordance of Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions falling mostly within the MDB.

5 For Mining, Manufacturing and "other" industries;

Estimates for the Mining, Manufacturing and "other" industries were imputed using modelled physical and financial data sourced from the 2008–09 Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES). All business units operating within the MDB were mapped based on geographic spatial coding of address information contained within the Australian Business Register (ABR). There may be some quality issues with this level of detail as some businesses operate across multiple locations but use a single address on the ABR. For a complete list of businesses categorised under "other" industries please see the Glossary.

6 For Electricity and gas supply;

Water information for electricity generators was modelled against the 2008–09 ABS Electricity Generators Survey, which was based on a complete enumeration of all electricity generators at the power plant level. These business units were identified within the MDB, based on geographic spatial coding of address information contained within the Australian Business Register.

7 For household water use;

Household water consumption was estimated using data collected on the Water Supply Survey. For the 27 water utilities operating on the MDB boundary, MDB estimates were derived by applying the proportion of the served population that was within the MDB.


8 Environmental flows are not separately identified within the MDB as there is no consistent measure by the water utilities. The environmental flows that were reported in surveys are presented within the estimates for regulated discharge, as well as distributed, reuse and in-stream water used by the Water supply and Electricity generation industries. Consumption for these industries is not affected by this treatment of environmental flow volumes.


9 All water information presented in this additional information were collected by the ABS and validated with other data sources (i.e. estimates for the Water supply; Electricity, gas, water and waste services; Mining; Manufacturing; and Agriculture industry at the ANZSIC Division Level).

10 Data relating to the following categories are considered reliable:
    • total water use
    • water use by the Agriculture industry (data was derived from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey which provides information at regional level);
    • water use by Electricity supply industry (regional information was modelled using information collected on the 2008-09 Electricity Generators Census);
    • water use by Mining industry (all mine localities in the MDB were identified).

11 Data relating to the following categories should be used with some caution (due to the modelling methodology and issues presented in paragraph 5 above):
    • water use by the Manufacturing industry;
    • water use by the amalgamation of all "other" industries.

    • 25 September, 2012 - Water Account Australia, 2010–11, Physical supply and use tables (data cubes only);
    • November 2012 - Water Account Australia, 2010–11, final publication, including Monetary supply and use tables.

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