Australian Bureau of Statistics
4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2011
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APPENDIX - AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production
Estimating the value of agricultural production resulting from irrigation is difficult. This is because water consumed by crops comes from a variety of sources. In particular, rainwater, which is not included in the Water Account Australia, is usually a component of the water consumed by irrigated crops, and the timing and location of rainfalls affect the amount of irrigation water required. Other factors such as evaporation also affect irrigation water requirements. These factors contribute to regional and temporal variations in the consumption of water for irrigation.
In addition, water is not the only input to agricultural production from irrigated land. Land, fertiliser, labour, machinery and other inputs are also used. Separating the contribution these factors make to total production is practically impossible with current data. Therefore, the estimates of the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (GVIAP) presented below attribute all of the gross value of production from irrigated land to irrigated agricultural production. GVIAP should not be used as a proxy for determining the highest value water uses.
GVIAP estimates for 2009–10 were derived from the ABS Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which collected information including area and production of crops, livestock numbers and products, area of crops/pastures irrigated and volume of water applied. The ABS also collects and publishes data on the value of agricultural commodities produced (see Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2009–10 (ABS cat no. 7503.0). Further details on the methods used to derive the estimates are presented in the Explanatory Notes of the publication Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2009–10 (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) and in the information paper Methods of estimating the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.006).
The total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2009–10 was $11.5 billion compared to $12.0 billion in 2008–09, a 4% decrease (see table below). Vegetables were the largest contributor to the value ($2,385 million or 21%), followed by fruit and nuts ($2,242 million or 20%) and dairy production ($1,826 million or 16%).
The greatest decreases in GVIAP from 2008–09 to 2009–10 occurred in South Australia, from $1,635 million to $1,360 million (a 17% decrease) and Western Australia, from $846 million to $758 million (a 10% decrease).
Between 2008–09 and 2009–10 there were significant reductions in the GVIAP of dairy production (from $2,274 million to $1,826 million), vegetables (from $2,625 million to $2,386 million) and cereals for grain and seed (from $317 million to $143 million). Over the same time period the largest increase in GVIAP was for sugar (from $537 million to $750 million), while rice had the largest percentage increase (161%), from $34 million to $90 million.
Note that estimates of GVIAP are given in current prices; that is, estimates are valued at the commodity prices of the period to which the observation relates.
WATER CONSUMPTION, Agriculture, by activity (a) —2008–09 and 2009–10
Note that there was a slight revision to the methodology used to estimate GVIAP for livestock (dairy, meat cattle, sheep and other livestock) in 2009–10, so the movements in these estimates between 2008–09 and 2009–10 should be treated with caution. See the Explanatory Notes in the ABS publication Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2009–10 (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) for more details.
For a full time series of GVIAP data from 2000–01 to 2008–09 (for all Sates and Territories), plus Murray–Darling Basin and Natural Resource Management (NRM) region data from 2005–06 to 2008–09, see the ABS publication Experimental Estimates of the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2000–01 to 2008–09 (ABS cat. no. 4610.0.55.008). Note that the changes in the livestock methodology (described above) will be reflected in a revised GVIAP time series to be published in 2012.
The agricultural activity with the highest water consumption in 2009–10 was dairy cattle grazing (868 GL or 12% of total consumption for Australia), followed by cotton growing (852 GL or 12%) and sugar cane growing (756 GL or 10%) (see table below). The activity with the largest increase in water consumption from 2008–09 to 2009–10 was rice growing (143%).
The agricultural activities with the highest self-extracted water consumption in 2009–10 were dairy cattle grazing (433 GL), 'other' agricultural water use (which includes livestock drinking water and dairy and piggeries cleaning) (382 GL), sugar cane growing (323 GL) and cotton growing (310 GL) (see graph and table below). The activity with the highest distributed water consumption was cotton growing (530 GL), which was one of the few activities that consumed more distributed water than self-extracted, the others being fruit and nut growing, grape growing, rice, other broadacre crops, and nurseries, cut flowers and cultivated turf growing.
WATER CONSUMPTION, Agriculture, by activity and water type(a) — 2009–10
Reuse water consumption for all agricultural activities in 2009–10 was 133 GL (see table above) which was 25% higher than in 2008–09, when reuse water consumption was 106 GL. The agricultural activities consuming the most reuse water were hay production (24 GL), dairy cattle grazing (22 GL) and sugar cane growing (13 GL). There were large decreases in the consumption of reuse water for cotton growing (11 GL), and grape growing (5 GL) between 2008–09 and 2009–10 (graph below).
REUSE WATER CONSUMPTION, Agriculture, by activity—2008–09 and 2009–10
The area of irrigated agricultural land increased from 1.76 million hectares in 2008–09 to 1.84 million hectares in 2009–10 (see table below), a 5% increase. There were increases in all irrigated commodity groups except for grapes, cereals for grain/seed and vegetables for human consumption and seed. The largest absolute increase in the area of irrigated land was in sheep/other livestock from 88,700 hectares in 2008–09 to 141,300 hectares in 2009–10. The largest absolute decrease in the area of land irrigated was for cereals for grain/seed, from 292,700 hectares in 2008–09 to 217,600 hectares in 2009–10.
The following graph shows the increases in area irrigated in Australia from 1920 to 2010. There are some gaps in the data series, however it can be seen that the area irrigated increased steadily from 1955 to 2006. There is a noticeable decrease from 2007 due to the effects of the drought leading to reduced water availability.
AREA IRRIGATED, Australia—1920-2010
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This page last updated 24 September 2012