4618.0 - Water Use on Australian Farms, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2016   
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KEY FIGURES

WATER USE ON AUSTRALIAN FARMS, year ended 30 June 2015

Aust.
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
MDB

AGRICULTURAL WATER USE

Agricultural businesses ('000)
123.1
39.9
29.7
25.5
12.6
11.2
3.7
0.4
0.1
49.1
Agricultural businesses irrigating ('000)
36.5
8.6
10.1
7.6
5.3
3.3
1.5
0.2
0.0
14.6
Total water use ('000 ML) (a)
9 779.9
3 425.8
2 462.4
2 467.3
770.8
343.9
247.6
61.8
0.3
6 174.4
Water applied for irrigation ('000 ML) (b)
8 950.3
3 196.4
2 305.1
2 232.1
705.4
258.2
225.1
28.0
0.1
5 868.8
Water applied for other agricultural purposes ('000 ML) (c)
Change in total water use from 2013-14 (%)
829.6
229.5
157.3
235.2
65.4
85.7
22.4
33.8
0.2
305.6
-15.4
-24.0
-8.0
-16.6
1.0
0.0
-3.2
8.1
-25.7
-23.1

SOURCES OF AGRICULTURAL WATER

Irrigation channels or pipelines ('000 ML)
4 161.0
1 665.5
1 468.7
774.5
120.5
102.7
28.4
0.7
0.0
3 212.1
On-farm dams or tanks ('000 ML)
1 163.9
272.4
143.5
508.9
38.0
85.5
111.2
4.3
0.2
566.0
Rivers, creeks or lakes ('000 ML)
2 071.8
803.3
425.3
509.4
225.4
13.6
86.6
8.2
0.1
1 414.4
Groundwater ('000 ML)
2 108.2
629.5
300.5
631.1
349.0
131.0
18.6
48.5
0.0
844.3
Recycled/re-used from off-farm ('000 ML)
170.4
28.1
93.4
36.3
11.0
0.1
1.5
0.0
0.0
103.5
Town or country reticulated mains supply ('000 ML)
102.0
26.8
29.6
6.6
26.9
10.8
1.0
0.2
0.0
33.9
Other water sources ('000 ML)
2.4
0.2
1.4
0.5
0.2
0.0
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.1

(a) Includes water applied for irrigation and other agricultural purposes
(b) Includes water applied to pastures and crops
(c) Includes livestock drinking water, dairy or piggery cleaning etc.

Graph Image for Agricultural water use

Annotation(s): MDB=Murray-Darling Basin

Footnote(s): (a) Includes water applied for irrigation and other agricultural purposes;(b) Includes water applied to pastures and crops;(c) Includes livestock drinking water, dairy or piggery cleaning etc.

Source(s): Water Use on Australian Farms, 2014-15

Graph Image for Sources of Agricultural Water

Annotation(s): MDB=Murray-Darling Basin

Source(s): Water Use on Australian Farms, 2014-15



KEY POINTS
  • Agricultural water use decreased 15% to 9.8 million megalitres in 2014-15.
  • Nationally, Agricultural businesses were estimated to have used 9.0 million megalitres of water in 2014-15 to irrigate 2.1 million hectares of crops and pastures. This was a 17% decrease in the volume of irrigation water used and a 9% decrease in area irrigated, when compared to 2013-14.
  • The Murray Darling Basin accounted for 66% of the nation's total water used for irrigation in 2014-15. Agricultural businesses in the Murray Darling Basin region used 5.9 million megalitres of water to irrigate 1.4 million hectares of crops and pastures during 2014-15.
  • Water use decreased in the eastern states (New South Wales down 24%, Queensland down 17%, Victoria down 8%) and Tasmania (down 3%) during 2014-15 with no change reported in Western Australia and increases in South Australia (up 1%) and the Northern Territory (up 8%).
  • Irrigation channels and pipelines continued to be the main source of water for Australian farms, representing 43% of total water sources (4.2 million megalitres), which was a 5% decrease from 2013-14.