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4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2012   
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INTRODUCTION AND MAIN FINDINGS


INTRODUCTION

This publication presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy in 2010–11 in both physical (i.e. ML) and monetary terms. The focus of Water Account Australia is on the interactions between users within the economy and the environment. The economy abstracts water for consumption and production activities. The infrastructure to mobilise, store, treat, distribute and return water back to the environment forms part of the economy.

Beginning with this publication, the accounts are presented in a more streamlined format - all data tables are supplied as downloaded documents and the national commentary is contained within this summary.

1.1 WATER SUPPLY IN THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY, 2010-11
Diagram: 1.1 Water supply diagram





Diagram 1.1 provides an overview of key data and sets out the scope of the Water Account Australia by showing the flows of water within and between the economy.MAIN FINDINGS

Physical  Water Supply and Use
  • During 2010–11, 71,796 GL of water was extracted from the environment and used within the Australian economy. This was a 13% increase on the 63,303 GL extracted during 2009–10. Water providers extracted 7,106 GL, which was a 17% decrease on the 8,604 GL extracted during 2009–10. Water-using industries (mainly the Agriculture industry and hydro-electricity generation) extracted 64,691 GL, which was a 18% increase on the 54,699 GL directly extracted in 2009–10.
  • Of the total extraction of 64,691, water consumption by all industries and households was 13,337 GL in 2010–11 (a decrease of 1% from 2009–10 when it was 13,515 GL), and the remainder was in-stream use mainly for hydro-electricity generation.
  • The Agriculture industry consumed the largest volume of water with 7,175 GL, representing 54% of Australia's water consumption in 2010–11.
  • The Mining industry consumed 10% more water in 2010–11 than in 2009–10 and accounted for 4% (540 GL) of Australia's total water consumption.
  • There was a 1% fall from 2009–10 in water consumption by the Manufacturing industry, which was responsible for 5% (651 GL) of Australia's total water consumption.
  • Total consumption of reuse water increased by 3% from 2009–10 to 2010–11, from 340 GL to 351 GL.
  • Water consumption by households decreased by 8% between 2009–10 (1,844 GL) and 2010–11 (1,699 GL).
  • Households' use of recycled water continued to increase, with a 6% increase from 2009–10 in the use of reuse water (from 3,106 ML to 3,283 ML). However the volumes involved were relatively low.

Graph Image for Water consumption, by State and Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Aquaculture, Hunting and trapping and Support services. (b) Includes Sewerage and drainage services and Waste collection, treatment and disposal services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery. (c) Refer to Glossary "Other industries".

Source(s): Australia; New South Wales; Victoria; Queensland; South Australia; Western Australia; Tasmania; Northern Territory; Australian Capital Territory



Graph Image for Water consumption, by industry and household

Annotation(s): (a) Includes Aquaculture, Hunting and trapping and Support Services. (b) Includes Sewerage and drainage services and Waste collection, treatment and disposal services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery. (c) Refer to Glossary "other industries".

Source(s): Agriculture (a); Mining; Manufacturing; Electricity and gas supply; Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage (b); Other industries (c); Household



Monetary Water Supply and Use
  • Sales and service income from the Water Supply industry was $14.0 billion, a 9% increase from 2009–10.
  • Revenue earned by the Water supply industry from sales of distributed water (including reuse and bulk water sales) increased by 7% between 2009–10 and 2010–11, from $7,410 million to $7,935 million.
  • Expenditure on total use of water in all sectors increased by 6% while physical water consumption decreased by 16%.
  • Water consumption by the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry decreased by 28% and the expenditure decreased by 9%.
  • The average price of distributed water supplied increased by 25% from $0.82/kL in 2009–10 to $1.03/kL in 2010–11.
  • There was large variation in the average price paid for distributed water with households paying $2.44/kL and Agriculture $0.14/kL.
  • South Australia households paid the highest unit price for urban distributed water ($3.09 per kL) in 2010–11, followed by Queensland ($2.95 per kL) and New South Wales ($2.53 per kL).
  • Northern Territory households recorded the largest annual increase (23%) in the unit price compared with 2009–10, followed by Queensland (20%) and Victoria (20%).
  • Consumption of distributed and reuse water by households decreased by 6% from 1,672 GL to 1,564 GL while corresponding expenditure rose by 9% from $3,506 million to $3,823 million.
  • Gross value added for the Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry increased by 20% between 2009–10 and 2010–11, from $7,666 million to $9,226 million.
  • The Agriculture industry generated a total of $4 million of gross value added (on average) for every GL of water consumed in 2010–11.
  • The Mining industry recorded a total of $243 million of gross value added per GL of water consumed, a 25% increase from 2009–10.
  • The Manufacturing industry generated a total of $166 million of gross value added for every GL of water consumed, a 1% increase from 2009–10.
  • The graph below compares relative consumption of distributed water with relative expenditure on water, for 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11. In 2010–11 the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry used 46% of total distributed water (down from 54% in 2009–10), while households accounted for 26%. Expenditure on distributed water by the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was only 6% of the national total, compared to 62% for households.

Graph Image for Distributed Water, Expenditure and Use

Annotation(s): Includes reuse water.

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Aquaculture, Hunting and trapping and Support services. (b) Includes Sewerage and drainage services and Waste collection, treatment and disposal services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery. (c) Refer to Glossary "Other industries".

Source(s): 2010-11; 2009-10; 2008-09



Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage
  • A total volume of 71,796 GL was extracted directly from the environment in Australia in 2010–11. Of this only 10% was distributed to users for consumptive purposes and the rest was distributed as in-stream use (e.g. hydro-electricity generators). About 351 GL of reuse water was also distributed for consumptive purposes across Australia in 2010–11.
  • The Water supply industry supplied nearly all (7,012 GL or 99%) of the distributed water in Australia in 2010–11. Of this, more than half (58% or 4,060 GL) was supplied by irrigation/rural water suppliers.
  • Surface water was far by the greatest source of water for the Water supply industry with 6,532 GL (92% of total distributed water) in 2010–11; groundwater provided 454 GL while desalination plants provided 121 GL.
  • In 2010–11, the Agriculture industry received the largest share of distributed water with 2,562 GL (36% of total distributed water) while the Water supply industry consumed (mainly through losses) about 1,492 GL (21% of the total). Households used 1,561 GL or 22% of the total distributed water.
  • The total volume of regulated water discharged back to the environment in 2010–11 was 62,238 GL, of which 90% was by the Electricity and gas supply industry and 8% by the Water supply industry (note that data on volumes of water discharged by Agriculture and some other industries were not available).

Graph Image for Distributed water use - Australia
Agriculture
  • Water consumption by the Agriculture industry (businesses whose primary activity is agriculture) was 7,175 GL in 2010–11, a 3% increase from 6,987 GL in 2009–10.
  • Water consumption from all agricultural activities (by all businesses that conducted agricultural activity) was 7,551 GL in 2010–11, a 3% increase from 2009–10 when it was 7,359 GL.
  • All agricultural activities accounted for 57% of total Australian water consumption in 2010–11, which was slightly more than 2009–10, when they accounted for 54%.
  • Consumption of self-extracted water by the Agriculture industry increased by 37% (from 3,267 GL to 4,491 GL) from 2009–10 to 2010–11. However consumption of distributed water (e.g. supplied by irrigation authorities) decreased by 29% (from 3,595 GL to 2,562 GL).
  • Consumption of reuse water by the Agriculture industry was 123 GL in 2010–11, down slightly from 126 GL in 2009–10.
  • Sheep, beef cattle and grain farming (3,067 GL or 43%) had the highest water consumption of all Agriculture industry groups in 2010–11, followed by Other crop growing (1,784 GL or 25%), Dairy cattle farming (931 GL or 13%) and Fruit and tree nut growing (882 GL or 12%).
  • The gross value of irrigated agricultural production was $12.9 billion in 2010–11, a 13% increase from $11.5 billion in 2009–10.
  • Cotton growing was the agricultural activity that consumed the greatest amount of water in 2010–11 (1,882 GL or 25% of agricultural activities). This was a 121% increase from 2009–10 (852 GL). 'Other' agricultural water use was the second greatest consumer of water at 12% (905 GL), followed by rice at 10% (766 GL), dairy cattle grazing 8% (627 GL), fruit and nuts 7% (550 GL) and sugar cane growing 6% (459 GL).
  • The area of irrigated agricultural land in 2010–11 was 1.96 million hectares, a 7% increase from 2009–10 when it was 1.84 million.

Graph Image for Water consumption, Agriculture industry (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Source(s): Water Account, Australia



Graph Image for Area Irrigated, Australia


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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