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Physical water accounts were produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in Water Account, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4610.0), for 1993-94 to 1996-97 and for 2000-01 and 2004-05. While data in the Water Account can theoretically be linked to economic data such as presented in the national accounts, there is little monetary data in the water account itself to facilitate such linking. This paper presents some experimental monetary water accounts that allow some of the physical flows of water to be matched with monetary transactions. Linking monetary and physical water accounts provides information useful for determining efficient water allocation, achieving cost recovery for water infrastructure assets and analysing trade-offs between alternative water and economic policies. The data available at present for compiling monetary water accounts for Australia are limited and of varying quality. A feature of this research paper is the identification of data gaps and deficiencies to be addressed in order to support a more complete monetary water account.
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