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4626.0.55.001 - Environmental views and behaviour, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2012   
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Image: Personal water use PERSONAL WATER USE

In the 12 months prior to the survey, just over a quarter (28%) of Australians decreased their personal water use compared with more than half (55%) in 2007–08. Just under a third (30%) reported having water restrictions in place compared with 76% in 2007–08. Of the states and territories, Western Australia reported the highest proportion with water restrictions in their area in 2011–12 (76%) along with the highest proportion concerned about water shortages (85%). (Tables 1, 3 and 11 and Graph 6)

Despite the easing of water restrictions since 2007–08, only eight per cent of Australians increased their water use in the 12 months prior to the survey. Most Australians' (62%) water use stayed the same. (Tables 1 and Graph 6)

Graph Image for Graph 6 - Personal water use in the last 12 months, 2007-08 and 2011-12

Of the estimated 4.8 million Australians whose personal water use decreased in 2011–12, more than half (51%) were trying to conserve water at home. Other reasons given were the change in weather conditions (22%) and a decrease in water needs in the garden (22%). (Table 13)

The change in weather conditions was a reason for decreasing personal water use for 27% of people living outside of capital city areas compared with 19% of people living in capital cities. The use of rainwater instead of mains water was a reason for decreasing personal water use for 17% of Australians living outside of capital cities with the highest proportion for residents of South Australia living outside of Adelaide (42%). (Table 13)

Among the states and territories, trying to conserve water at home was a reason given for a decrease in personal water use for 55% of people living in Western Australia and 54% of people living in Queensland. Decreased water needs in the garden was a reason for 30% of people living in Western Australia and 28% of people living in the Australian Capital Territory. (Table 13 and Graph 7)

Graph Image for Graph 7 - Reasons personal water use has decreased in the last 12 months, by state or territory

Personal water use was not affected for nearly three quarters of Australians (72%) who reported water restrictions in their area. Of those whose personal water use was affected, watering the garden (77%), washing vehicles (40%) and taking a shower or bath (29%) were the most affected activities. (Tables 11 and 14)

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