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4602.0.55.003 - Environmental Issues: Water use and Conservation, Mar 2013 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2013   
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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


RELEVANCE

The most recent Water Use and Conservation (WUC) Survey was conducted in March 2013 and provides household information on:

  • water sources
  • rainwater tanks and reasons why rainwater tank was installed
  • water use and conservation inside the dwelling
  • water use and conservation in the garden and outside the dwelling
  • satisfaction with the quality of drinking water.
The survey was conducted throughout Australia as a supplement to the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).

The survey covers households in urban, rural, remote and very remote areas across all states and territories of Australia, excluding households in Indigenous Communities.


TIMELINESS

The WUC Survey is collected triennially during March as a supplement to the ABS monthly LFS. Surveys on this topic have been conducted since 1994. Data from the survey is released approximately seven months after the completion of enumeration (i.e. during October).


ACCURACY

The sample size for the March 2013 LFS was approximately 33,000 dwellings. Only one half of these dwellings were included in the sample for the March 2013 supplementary topic and there were 12,997 fully responding households. Taking into account sample loss, the response rate was 89%.

Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Sampling error is the error associated with taking a sample of dwellings rather than going to all dwellings in Australia. In this publication the sampling error is measured by the relative standard error (RSE), the standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate. Non-sampling errors can occur in any data collection, whether based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording answers by interviewers, and errors in coding or processing of data. Every effort is made to reduce the non–sampling error by careful design and testing of questions, training interviewers, follow-up of respondents and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.


COHERENCE

Water Use and Conservation data has generally been collected every three years by the ABS. Previous data were published in 2010, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1998 and 1994. Data from the 2013 and 2010 surveys are released under the title Environment Issues: Water Use and Conservation (cat. no. 4602.0.55.003). Prior to 2008, the annual publication Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0) focussed on one of three rotating topics each year: Water Use and Conservation, Waste Management and Transport Use; and Energy Use and Conservation.

While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey, sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the relevance of the data. For 2013, a few changes were made to the survey to capture current trends and practices in household water use and conservation. These changes are outlined in the Explanatory notes (see paragraph 18).


INTERPRETABILITY

This publication contains tables with annotated data and a summary of the main findings to assist with the interpretation of the results of the Survey. Detailed Explanatory notes, a Technical note on Data Quality and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


ACCESSIBILITY

This publication is available electronically, Environment Issues: Water use and Conservation (cat. no. 4602.0.55.003), released via the ABS website. Tables and associated RSE tables are available in spreadsheet format.

Data is available at state/territory level and state/territory by capital city/balance of state level. Additional data may be available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

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


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