Water Account, Australia presents information on the physical and monetary supply and use of water in the Australian economy. It is compiled, as far as possible, in accordance with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). The Water Account also provides information on the water use and consumptive practices of households and key industries (Agriculture and Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services).
During 2015-16, an estimated 76,544 gigalitres (GL) of water was extracted from the environment to support the Australian economy, as shown in Diagram 1.1. Of this amount, 10,615 gigalitres were extracted for distribution (or supply) to industry and households, largely by the Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services industry (10,527 GL).
A total of 60,702 gigalitres of the total 76,544 gigalitres extracted from the environment was used in-stream (for example hydro-electricity generation) and is a non-consumptive use of water. The remainder of self-extracted water that is not for distribution, is used directly by the industry extracting it (5,226 gigalitres), mainly for Agriculture.
Total consumptive use of water in 2015-16 was 16,132 gigalitres. 9,604 gigalitres were consumed by the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry; 2,014 gigalitres were consumed by the Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services industry; a further 2,615 gigalitres by all other industries; and 1,899 gigalitres by households. This total of 16,132 gigalitres was a decrease of just over 7% from 2014-15, primarily driven by reduced water consumption by Agriculture in New South Wales and Victoria.
Diagram 1.1 below provides an overview of key data from the Water Account, Australia, by presenting the flows of water within the Australian economy, and between the economy and the environment.
1.1 WATER CONSUMPTION AND RELATED FLOWS, AUSTRALIA, 2015-16