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WATER SUPPLY AND USE IN THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY-2000-01
The water account integrates data from different sources into a consolidated information set making it possible to link physical data on water to economic data, such as those in Australia's national accounts (see table below). It is one of the few water accounts that exists in the world.
WATER CONSUMPTION, EMPLOYMENT AND IGVA, by selected industries-2000-01
In the water account, volumes of water used and supplied by each industry have been balanced to derive a figure called 'water consumption'. This figure takes into account the different characteristics of water supply and use by industries and is a way of standardising water use, allowing for comparisons between industries. The method for calculating water use and water consumption is outlined in the graphic below.
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, and the Aquaculture industry (included in the Forestry and fishing industry), where in-stream water use and water supply volumes are significant.
Water use and water consumption calculation methods
WATER SUPPLY AND USE
Water consumption by industry
Water consumption is presented instead of total water use as it takes into account the different characteristics of water supply and use of industries, allowing more meaningful comparisons between them.
The Agriculture industry had the highest water consumption in 2000-01, accounting for 16,660 GL (or 67%). Households were the next highest consumer of water, accounting for 2,181 GL (or 8.8%) of water consumption. The Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry was also a significant consumer of water, accounting for 1,794 GL (or 7.2%) of water consumption, followed by the Electricity and gas supply industry which consumed 1,688 GL (or 6.8%).
WATER CONSUMPTION, Australia-2000-01
MAINS WATER SUPPLY
Mains water is defined as water that is supplied to a user, often through a non-natural network (piped or open channel), and where an economic transaction has occurred for the exchange of water. This can include treated or raw water.
Mains water supplied by water providers
Water providers are commonly divided into three types; metropolitan providers (with over 50,000 connections), non-major urban providers (between 10,000 and 50,000 connections and often local governments), and irrigation/rural water providers.
In 2000-01 there were 479 water providers in Australia. Most water providers in Australia (75%) were in the non-major urban category, and most were part of local government authorities.
NUMBER OF WATER PROVIDERS, by type-2000-01
Although the majority of water providers were in the non-major urban category, the vast majority of mains water was supplied by irrigation/rural water providers. These water providers collectively supplied 63% of total water supply during 2000-01.
PROPORTION OF MAINS WATER SUPPLY(a), by provider type-2000-01
Reuse water is defined as wastewater that may have been treated to some extent, and then used again without first being discharged to the environment. Reuse water is supplied mainly by the Water supply industry, but may also be supplied by other industries (such as Mining and Manufacturing). Reuse water supplied by irrigation/rural water providers through regional reuse schemes has also been included in the water account. Results show that the contribution that reuse water makes to total water supply is increasing in Australia.
Use of reuse water
The use of reuse water has increased almost threefold since 1996-97, although the volume used is still relatively small. In 1996-97 there were 134,424 GL of reuse water used in Australia, which made up less than 1% of total water use in that year. By 2000-01 this volume had increased to 516,563 ML, however this still accounted for less than 1% of total water use. A large proportion of reuse water use in this water account is sourced from rural/irrigation regional reuse schemes. Reuse water made up 4% of total water supplied by water providers in 2000-01 compared to 1% in 1996-97. This reflects better reporting of these volumes between editions.
The Agriculture industry was the largest user of reuse water in 2000-01, accounting for 423,264 ML or 82% of all reuse water used in Australia. The majority of reuse water used by the Agriculture industry was for application to pastures (45%), although rice crops were also significant users (29%).
REUSE WATER USE, Australia-1996-97 and 2000-01
Following the Agriculture industry, the next largest users of reuse water were the Other industries (which include service and administration industries) with 35,859 ML used (or 7% of total reuse water use in Australia), and the Water supply industry where 23,056 ML (or 4% of total reuse water use) was used. Most reuse water used by the Other industries is applied to golf courses and sporting grounds, while for the Water supply industry, reuse water is usually applied to pastures and other land owned by water providers.
AGRICULTURE WATER USE
Water used by agriculture includes water applied through irrigation to crops, pastures, or fed to livestock, that has been directly extracted from the environment by farmers (e.g.from bores, on-farm dams, rivers) or by water providers (e.g. irrigation authorities). It excludes the use of rainwater. Since the Agriculture industry does not use water in-stream, or supply water to other users, water use is equal to water consumption.
In 2000-01 the Agriculture industry used 16,660 GL of water, making up 67% of total water consumption in Australia. Water use varied between crops and between states and territories. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory combined were the largest users of water for agriculture accounting for 7,322 GL or 44% of Australian agricultural water use.
WATER USE, Agriculture-2000-01
In 2000-01, Livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture was the largest user of water in agriculture (5,568 GL or 33%), followed by cotton (2,908 GL or 17%), dairy farming (2,834 GL or 17%) and rice (1,951 GL or 12%). Livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture includes cut flowers, nurseries, turf growing and other commodities. Dairy farming includes livestock and irrigated pastures and grains for dairy farming purposes.
WATER USE, Agriculture-2000-01
Value of irrigated agricultural production
The total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2000-01 was $9,618 million. In 2000-01 gross irrigated agricultural production represented 28% of the gross value of all agriculture production. Vegetables were the largest contributor to the value ($1,817 million or 19%), followed by Fruit ($1,590 million or 17%) and Dairy farming ($1,499 million or 16%).
MINING WATER USE
For the Mining industry, water use does not equal water consumption, as some businesses use water in-stream or supply mains water to other users. The Mining industry used 534,273 ML, in 2000-01. During 2000-01 Metal ore mining was the largest user of water within the Mining industry (340,999 ML), followed by Coal mining (123,860 ML).
WATER USE, Mining-2000-01
The Mining industry is mostly reliant on self-extracted water, with 90% (479,635 ML) of total water use derived from this source during 2000-01. Water use from mains was 49,196 ML over the same period.
Of self-extracted water used in the Mining industry, the majority was used by Metal ore mining (306,883 ML), then Coal mining (106,472 ML). Of water supplied by mains, again the biggest user was Metal ore mining (31,362 ML) followed by Coal mining (14,701 ML). Oil and gas extraction used the least self-extracted water and mains water.
SOURCE OF WATER, Mining-2000-01
MANUFACTURING WATER USE
Since the Manufacturing industry does not use water in-stream, or supply water to other users, water use is equal to water consumption.
In 2000-01, total water use in Manufacturing industries was 866,061 ML or 3.5% of total water use in Australia over this period. The Food, beverage and tobacco industry was the highest user of water within the Manufacturing industry with 241,509 ML used. This was followed by the Wood and paper product industry (174,851 ML).
WATER USE, Manufacturing-2000-01
During 2000-01 the Manufacturing industry used 553,700 ML of mains water and 295,825 ML of self-extracted water. Overall, the Manufacturing industry was most reliant on mains water, with 64% of total water intake being derived from this source in 2000-01.
The Printing, publishing and recorded media industry had the highest reliance on mains water (100%) followed by Textile, clothing, footwear and leather (98%) and Machinery and equipment (97%).
SOURCE OF WATER, Manufacturing-2000-01
ELECTRICITY AND GAS SUPPLY WATER USE
The Electricity and gas supply industry is a significant user of water, mostly for hydro-electricity power generation. The water used for hydro-electricity power generation is not considered a consumptive use. This is because water extracted for use passes through turbines to generate electricity and is immediately discharged and made available for downstream users. Therefore, water use for hydro-electricity power generation is treated differently from other water uses and called in-stream use. Water use is identified as either including or excluding in-stream water use.
In-stream use by hydro-electricity power stations in the Electricity and gas supply industry was 47,544 GL in 2000-01. Including in-stream use, total water use by the Electricity and gas supply industry was 49,244 GL. Excluding in-stream use, total water use by the Electricity and gas supply industry was 1,700 GL in 2000-01, while total consumption was 1,688 GL. The Electricity and gas supply industry supplied 13 GL to other users.
The largest user was Tasmania, which used a total of 37,405 GL in 2000-01. The next largest users were Victoria (4,479 GL) and New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory combined (4,118 GL).
WATER USE (INCLUDING IN-STREAM USE)(a), Electricity and gas supply-2000-01
WATER USE IN REMAINING INDUSTRIES
Services to agriculture; hunting and trapping, and Forestry and fishing industries
The Forestry and fishing industry, which includes aquaculture, uses water in-stream and as such, water consumption does not equal water use in this industry. Water use for aquaculture is non-consumptive and mostly occurs in-stream. In-stream use by aquaculture during 2000-01 was 367,756 ML. Total water consumption by Forestry and fishing was 23,022 ML during 2000-01.
In 2000-01 the total water use by the Services to agriculture; hunting and trapping, and the Forestry and fishing industries was 3,901 ML and 390,779 ML respectively.
For the Other industries, water consumption is equal to water use. Other industries are the Construction; Wholesale and retail trade; Accommodation, cafes and restaurants; Transport and storage; Finance, property and business services; Government administration; Education; Health and community services; and, Cultural, recreational and personal services industries (ANZSIC 4111-9634).
Total water use for the Other industries was 832,100 ML in 2000-01.
The Cultural, recreational and personal services industry accounted for 47% (395,049 ML) of total water use by Other industries. Total water use by the Cultural, recreational and personal services industry is comparatively high as much water is used to water parks and gardens, golf courses, ovals and other sports grounds.
WATER USE, Other industries-2000-01
HOUSEHOLD WATER USE
Water use by Australian households (also referred to as domestic water use) includes 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). Since households do not use water in-stream, or supply water to other users, water use is equal to water consumption.
In 2000-01 the total water used by households was 2,181,447 ML, increasing from 1,828,999 ML in 1996-97 and 1,703,736 ML in 1993-94. This rise can be attributed in part to an increase of population (6% nationally from 1993-94 to 2000-01), and better coverage and reporting in this edition of the water account. Climate plays a significant role in household water use. The majority of household water was used for outdoor purposes (44%), followed by indoor uses, including bathrooms (20%) and toilets (15%).
HOUSEHOLD WATER USE, Australia by location of use-2000-01
Of the total water used by households in 2000-01, 96% (2,085,768 ML) was supplied by mains and 4% (95,512 ML) of water was from a self-extracted source (i.e. rainwater tanks and direct extraction from surface waterways or groundwater).
While the value of the water supply and storage infrastructure is a matter of some debate, the storage capacity of large dams in each state and territory (except the Australian Capital Territory) is available from the ANCOLD Register of Large Dams. There are approximately 500 large dams in Australia with a storage capacity of 84,793 GL. Tasmania (24,340 GL) and New South Wales (24,814 GL) have the largest storage capacity, while the Australian Capital Territory (124 GL) and South Australia (261 GL) have the least. Most of Australia's dam capacity has been built since 1970.
WATER STORAGE CAPACITY OF LARGE DAMS, Australia-1857-2001
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, Michael Vardon (02 6252 7348) or Stuart Peevor (02 6252 7042).
ABS 2000, Water Account for Australia, 1993-94 to 1996-97, cat. no. 4610.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2001a, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, May 2001 Quarter, cat. no. 6291.0.55.01, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2002d, Australian System of National Accounts 2000-01, cat. no. 5204.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2002a, Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia, 2001, cat. no. 2015.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2003b, Environment by Numbers: Selected Articles on Australia's Environment, 2003, cat. no. 4617.0, ABS, Canberra.
ActewAGL 2003, Water Data, ActewAGL, Canberra, Last viewed 10 September 2003, <http://www.actewagl.com.au/education/water/>.
ABS and New Zealand Department of Statistics 1993 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1993, ABS cat. no. 1292.0 and NZ cat. no. 1.005.0092, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Australia, Department of Statistics, Wellington, New Zealand.
ANCID 2002, 2000-01 Australian Irrigation Water Provider Benchmarking Report, ANCID, Tatura, Victoria, p.53.
Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) 2001, Register of Large Dams in Australia, Last viewed 2 December 2003, <http://www.ancold.org.au/dam_register.html>.
AWA 2002, Performance Monitoring Report 2000-01 - Australian Non-Major Urban Water Utilities, AWA, Artarmon.
Australian Water Resources Council (AWRC) 1987a, 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use, Vol. 1, Water Resources Data Set, AGPS, Canberra.
AWRC 1987b, 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use, Vol. 2, Water Resources Data Set, AGPS, Canberra.
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) 2001, Annual Report 2000-01, Appendix 7, Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, pp. 181-194.
Day, P 2003, Personal communication, South Australia Water, 12 February 2003.
Dillon P 2000, 'Water Reuse in Australia: Current Status, Projections and Research', in Dillon, PJ (ed.), Water Recycling Australia, ACT, pp.99-104.
DIPNR (Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources) 2004, Water Sharing Plans, Last viewed 6 February 2004, <http://www.dlwc.nsw.gov.au/care/water/sharing/index.html>.
Department of Land and Water Conservation (DLWC) 1999, Water Trading Development and Monitoring, DLWC, New South Wales.
DLWC 2002, NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Performance Comparisons, DLWC, New South Wales.
National Capital Authority 2004, Scrivener Dam and the creation of Lake Burley Griffin, Last viewed 25 February 2004, <http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/>.
Sydney Water 2001, Lets Get Water Wise, Last viewed 11 February 2004, <http://www.sydneywater.com.au/html/education/schools/LetsGetWaterWise.pdf>.
Water Corporation 2001, Scheme Water Consumption, Water Corporation, Western Australia.
Waterwise Queensland (no date), WaterWise in the Home, (information booklet), Department of Natural Resources, Queensland.
Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) 2001, WSAA Facts 2001 Australian Urban Water Industry, WSAA, Melbourne.
Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) provides a classification of businesses by type of activity. The classfication has four levels from division (1 digit code which is the broadest), subdivision (2 digit code), group (3 digit code) and class (4 digit code which is the finest level of classification)
One thousand million litres.
Refers to the gross value of commodities produced. It is the value placed on recorded production at the wholesale prices realised in the market place.
Industry gross value added (IGVA)
Represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by the industry.
The use of freshwater in situ (e.g. within a river or stream). Can include recreation, tourism, scientific and cultural uses, ecosystem maintenance, hydro-electricity and commercial activities, and dilution of waste. The volume of water required for most in-stream uses cannot be quantified, with the exception of hydro-electricity generation.
One thousand litres.
Mains water is water supplied to a user often through a non-natural network (piped or open channel), and where an economic transaction has occurred for the exchange of this water. The majority of mains water tends to be supplied by Water supply, sewerage and drainage services (ANZSIC group 3701). The water supply component consists of units mainly engaged in storage, purification or distribution of water by pipeline or carrier. It also includes the operation of irrigation systems that supply water to a farm and the supply of steam and hot water.
One million litres.
Water discharged after use where that discharge does not match the natural flow regime of the receiving water body. For example, wastewater discharged into a river, ocean or land outfall by a sewerage service provider is considered a regulated discharge. Water discharged from a household is not considered to be a regulated discharge because it is usually discharged into a sewerage system.
There are multiple interpretations of the term 'reuse water'. In the water account, reuse water refers to wastewater that may have been treated to some extent and used again without first being discharged to the environment. It excludes water reused on-site, for example on-farm water reuse, or water constantly being recycled within a manufacturing plant.
SEEA is the System for Integrated Economic and Environmental Accounting. It is a framework used to develop environmental accounts by integrating environmental information into an accounting framework. The SEEA publication provides the conceptual basis for developing a framework to describe the interrelationship between the natural environment and the economy.
Water extracted directly from the environment for use (including rivers, lakes, groundwater and other water bodies). Some of this water is then distributed via a water provider to others.
System of National Accounts (SNA)
The System of National Accounts (SNA) is an international framework which can be used to develop a comprehensive, consistent and flexible set of macro-economic accounts.
Infrastructure used to remove sewage (wastewater).
Total water use
Total water use is equal to mains water use plus self-extracted water use plus reuse water use.
Water consumption is equal to mains water use plus self-extracted water use plus reuse water use minus mains water supplied to other users minus in-stream use (where applicable).
Surface and groundwater resources available in Australia for economic and environmental use (see Stock tables).
See Total water use.
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