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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WATER SUPPLY INDUSTRY
Of the total volume of water extracted from the environment in Australia in 2009–10, only 15% was distributed to users for consumptive purposes. The remainder was mostly in-stream use for hydro-electricity generation. The proportion of distributed water varied between States and Territories, from less than 1% in Tasmania (where a very high proportion of water extracted is for hydro-electricity) to 97% in the Australian Capital Territory.
In 2009–10, 3,646 GL, or 39% of the distributed water in Australia, was supplied to the Agriculture industry and over a quarter (2,445 GL or 26%) was consumed by the Water supply industry as part of their operations. Households used 18% (1,667 GL) of the total water distributed while other industries (i.e. Mining, Manufacturing, etc.) used 8%.
DISTRIBUTED WATER USE, Australia— 2009–10
ORIGIN OF DISTRIBUTED WATER
The origin of distributed water supplied by the Water supply industry is presented in the table below. Surface water (e.g. river systems, dams) constitutes the majority of all water extracted from the environment by the Water supply industry. This amounted to 8,727 GL (96%) in 2009–10 with groundwater accounting for 313 GL and desalination making up the remainder (77 GL).
More than half (55% or 173 GL) of groundwater consumption occurred in Western Australia followed by New South Wales (17% or 52 GL). In the Northern Territory, groundwater consumption was about 39% of the total water consumed.
The percentage of distributed water obtained via desalination is relatively low in Australia (less than one percent). About 43% of the total desalinated water in Australia was produced in Western Australia (33 GL), with smaller volumes produced in Queensland (24 GL), New South Wales (20 GL) and South Australia (71 ML).
A new desalination plant in New South Wales became operational in January 2010 but the data for this plant were not included in the 2009–10 Water Account Australia estimates - the data from this plant will be included in the 2010–11 Water Account Australia.
This page last updated 24 September 2012
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