4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2014   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

MAIN FINDINGS


PHYSICAL WATER SUPPLY AND USE
  • During 2012-13, an estimated 82,297 GL of water was extracted from the environment to support the Australian economy, 10% higher than in 2011-12. Of this amount, around 17% (14,474 GL) was extracted by water providers while the remaining 83% (67,823 GL) was extracted directly by water users (mainly the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry, which extracted 62,366 GL, mostly for hydro-electricity generation, a non-consumptive use).
  • Total water consumption by households and industry in 2012-13 was 19,749 GL.
  • Water consumption by industries in 2012-13 was 17,898 GL, a 25% increase from 14,303 GL in 2011-12.
  • Water consumption by households in 2012-13 was 1,851 GL, an 8% increase from 2011-12 when consumption was 1,715 GL.
  • Total consumption of reuse water increased by 19% from 2011-12 to 2012-13, from 227 GL to 270 GL.
  • 67,648 GL of water was returned to the environment in 2012-13 as regulated discharge - the majority was water used in-stream for hydro-electricity generation.
  • The 'Agriculture' industry consumed the largest volume of water with 12,780 GL, a 36% increase from 2011-12 when consumption was about 9,418 GL. The 'Agriculture' industry accounted for 65% of Australia's water consumption in 2012-13, followed by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry (2,408 GL, 12% of the total consumption, most of this via distribution losses), 'Households' (1,851 GL, 9%), 'Mining' (614 GL, 3%) and 'Manufacturing' (530 GL, 3%).
  • The increase in water consumption by the 'Agriculture' industry was most notable in New South Wales, where consumption increased by 54%, from 4,037 GL in 2011-12 to 6,210 GL in 2012-13.
  • In the two year period between 2010-11 and 2012-13, consumption by the 'Agriculture' industry in New South Wales more than doubled, up from 2,861 GL to 6,210 GL. During this period, the agricultural commodities with the greatest increases in irrigation water consumption in New South Wales were cotton (an increase of 1,159 GL, or 108%) and rice (an increase of 1,015 GL, or 134%).
Graph Image for Water Consumption, by State and Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing. (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

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing (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); Electricity and Gas Supply; Households; Manufacturing; Mining; Other Industries (c); Water Supply (b)




MONETARY WATER SUPPLY AND USE
  • Total revenue from sales of water and related services by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry was $16.1 billion in 2012-13, up by just over 2% from 2011-12.
  • Australian industries spent over $2.9 billion on distributed water in 2012-13, an increase of 8% from 2011-12 when the total spent was about $2.7 billion.
  • Households' expenditure on distributed water in 2012-13 increased by 17% from 2011-12 and was reported at $5.1 billion (63% of the total expenditure on distributed water for Australia), although households used only 1,700 GL, which was 14% of total net distributed water (i.e. excluding distribution losses).
  • The 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry spent $0.7 billion during the same period (8% of total expenditure) but used around three-quarters (75%) of total net distributed water. Expenditure by industries other than 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' in 2012-13 was reported at $2.3 billion for 1,471 GL of distributed water. The variance in the patterns of expenditure on water observed between the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry and other industries, including households, reflect the different costs of storage, treatment and delivery between categories of water used by urban and rural users.
  • The average price of distributed water in 2012-13 was $0.64/kL, down from $0.72/kL in 2011-12. This was mainly driven by the decrease in the price paid for distributed water by the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry (-22%).
  • The average price paid by the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry per kilolitre of distributed water in 2012-13 was $0.07; households paid $2.97 per kilolitre.
  • South Australian households paid the highest unit price for urban distributed water ($4.30 per kL) in 2012-13, followed by Queensland ($3.47 per kL) and New South Wales ($3.01 per kL).
  • Tasmanian households recorded the largest annual increase (20%) in the unit price compared with 2011-12, followed by Queensland (18%) and Northern Territory (17%). Victorian households' unit price for urban distributed water decreased by 6% from $2.78 in 2011-12 to $2.62 in 2012-13.
  • The graph below compares relative use of distributed water with relative expenditure on water from 2008-09 to 2012-13:
Graph Image for Distributed Water, Expenditure and Use

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing. (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): 2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13

  • The industry gross value added (IGVA) per GL of water consumed in 2012-13 was $80 million, down 18% from 2011-12 when IGVA was $97 million per GL.
  • An increase (18%) in IGVA per GL was noted in the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry between 2011-12 and 2012-13 (from $74 million/GL to $87 million/GL). The 'Mining' industry recorded a 20% increase (from $159 million/GL to $191 million/GL). IGVA per GL of water consumed by the 'Manufacturing' industry increased from $187 million/GL in 2011-12 to $192 million/GL in 2012-13.


WATER SUPPLY, SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE
  • A total volume of 82,297 GL was extracted directly from the environment in Australia in 2012-13. The industries that extracted the largest volumes of water were the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry (76% or 62,366 GL, most of which was non-consumptive in-stream use for hydro-electricity generation) and the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry (17% or 14,381 GL, most of which was supplied to other users).
  • The 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry supplied nearly all (99% or 14,381 GL) of the distributed water in Australia in 2012-13; 63% (about 9,084 GL) was supplied by irrigation/rural water suppliers.
  • Surface water was by far the greatest source for water supplied by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry with 13,781 GL (95% of total distributed water) in 2012-13; groundwater provided 557 GL (up from 437 GL in 2011-12), while desalination plants provided 135 GL (a decrease of 11% from 2011-12 when it was 151 GL).
  • In 2012-13, the 'Agriculture' industry received the largest share of distributed water with 9,088 GL (63% of total distributed water) while the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry used 2,313 GL (16% of the total distributed use), most of which was through losses to the distribution system. Households used 1,695 GL, or 12% of the total distributed water.
  • About 270 GL of reuse water was distributed for consumptive purposes across Australia in 2012-13, increasing from 227 GL the previous year.
  • The total volume of regulated water discharged back to the environment in 2012-13 was 67,648 GL, of which 93% (62,830 GL) was by the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry (almost entirely via hydro-electricity generation).
  • The 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry's regulated discharge increased by 10% from 3,127 GL in 2011-12 to 3,441 GL in 2012-13 (note that regulated discharge estimates exclude discharges by 'Agriculture' and some other industries, as data was not available).
Graph Image for Distributed Water Use - Australia

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Sewerage and Drainage Services and Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services. Data includes water losses or water lost. (b) Refer to Glossary "Other industries"

Source(s): Distributed Water Use - Australia-Distributed water use




AGRICULTURE
  • Water consumption from all agricultural activities was 13,455 GL in 2012-13, a 36% increase from 2011-12 when it was 9,860 GL.
  • Water consumption by the 'Agriculture' industry (businesses whose primary activity is agriculture) was 12,780 GL in 2012-13, representing 95% of total agricultural water consumption (13,455 GL).
  • Consumption of reuse water by the 'Agriculture' industry increased from 45 GL in 2011-12 to 72 GL in 2012-13 (a 59% increase).
  • 'Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming' (5,892 GL or 46%) had the highest water consumption of all 'Agriculture' industry groups in 2012-13, followed by 'Other Crop Growing' (2,644 GL or 21%), 'Dairy Cattle Farming' (2,068 GL or 16%) and 'Fruit and Tree Nut Growing' (1,467 GL or 11%).
  • The gross value of irrigated agricultural production was $13.4 billion in 2012-13, a small decrease from $13.5 billion in 2011-12.
  • 'Cotton growing' was the agricultural activity that consumed the greatest amount of water in 2012-13 (3,285 GL or 24% of agricultural water use), up 48% from 2,223 GL in 2011-12. 'Dairy Cattle farming' was the second largest consumer of water (1,967 GL or 15% of agricultural water use), an increase of 61% from 2011-12 (1,225 GL). 'Rice farming' consumed 1,780 GL (13% of agricultural water use) in 2012-13, an increase of 39% from 2011-12 (1,276 GL).
  • The area of irrigated agricultural land in 2012-13 was almost 2.4 million hectares, an 11% increase from 2011-12 when it was just over 2.1 million hectares. Irrigated land represented 0.6% of all agricultural land in 2012-13.
Graph Image for Water Consumption, Agriculture Industry (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing.

Source(s): Water Consumption, Agriculture Industry (a)-Water consumption Australia - Ag


Graph Image for Area Irrigated, Australia



EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF SOIL WATER (NOT INCLUDED IN THE PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE TABLES)
  • The estimated quantity of water supplied from the soil in Australia for 2012-13 was 340,474 GL, a 4% increase from 2011-12 when it was 327,208 GL. Queensland had the largest supply of water from soil of 108,828 GL (or 32% of the Australian total).


EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF CONSUMPTION FROM HOUSEHOLD RAINWATER TANKS (NOT INCLUDED IN THE PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE TABLES)
  • Water consumption from household rainwater tanks in Australia in 2012-13 was estimated to be 151 GL. Areas outside capital cities have the largest consumption - 105 GL (or 70% of total consumption). Water consumption from rainwater tanks in 2012-13 was equal to 8% of household water consumption (1,851 GL).


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.