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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, 2010  
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Contents >> Environment >> Agricultural Water Use

AGRICULTURAL WATER USE

AGRICULTURAL WATER USE, Western Australia

Unit
2008-09
2007-08
2006-07

Agricultural businesses
Irrigating
no.
2 865
2 720
2 935
Total
no.
12 658
13 084
13 608
Area of agricultural holding
Irrigated
ha
47 804
63 364
53 268
Total
ha
93 645 885
93 034 706
96 741 958
Water use
Irrigation
ML
226 085
284 878
293 186
Other agricultural uses
ML
92 310
85 026
118 806
Total water use
ML
318 395
369 904
411 992
Application rate
ML/ha
4.7
4.5
5.5

Source: Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0)

  • WA's agricultural water use fell by 51.5 gigalitres (down 14%) to 318.4 gigalitres in 2008-09. Nationally, agricultural water use rose by 4% or 7,286 gigalitres, the first increase since 2005-06. Agricultural water use remains below 2005-06 levels in all states, particularly NSW (down 56%) and Victoria (down 49%).
  • Over one-fifth (23%) of WA's 12,658 agricultural businesses undertook irrigation in 2008-09. However, the area irrigated by these businesses represented less than 1% of the total area of agricultural holdings in the state.
  • In 2008-09, the volume of water applied for irrigation decreased by 58,800 megalitres (ML) (21%). However, there was a substantial fall in the area of land irrigated in WA over this period (down 15,600 ha). This decrease resulted in the application rate in WA rising to 4.7 ML/ha, the highest in Australia.

Proportion of Irrigation Water Used, by Selected Crops - 2008-09
Graph: Proportion of Irrigation Water Used by Selected Crops - 2008-09

  • In 2008-09, the major use of irrigated water in WA was for Pasture, cereal and other crops used for grazing, accounting for 32% of irrigation water applied in the state. The next major uses of water were for Vegetables for human consumption or seed (25%) and Fruit trees, nut trees, plantation and berry fruits (21%).


The following link takes you to the Downloads page for Water Use on Australian Farms, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4618.0). The publication tables data cube provides statistics by state and territory on agricultural water use.

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