4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/11/2015   
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MAIN FINDINGS 2013-14


PHYSICAL WATER SUPPLY AND USE
  • Total water consumption by households and industry in 2013-14 was 18,644 GL, a 6% decrease from 19,756 GL in 2012-13.
  • Water consumption by industry in 2013-14 was 16,772 GL, a 6% decrease from 17,911 GL in 2012-13.
  • Water consumption by households in 2013-14 was 1,872 GL, a 1% increase from 2012-13 when consumption was 1,845 GL.
  • During 2013-14, an estimated 92,237 GL of water was extracted from the environment to support the Australian economy, 12% higher than in 2012-13. Of this amount, around 14% (12,881 GL) was extracted by water providers while the remaining 86% (79,335 GL) was extracted directly by water users (mainly the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry, which extracted 73,086 GL, mostly for hydro-electricity generation, a non-consumptive use).
  • Total consumption of reuse water increased by 4% from 268 GL in 2012-13 to 280 GL in 2013-14.
  • 78,234 GL of water was returned to the environment in 2013-14 as regulated discharge, representing a 16% increase from 67,665 GL in 2012-13. The majority of regulated discharges was water used in-stream for hydro-electricity generation.
  • The 'Agriculture' industry consumed the largest volume of water with 11,588 GL, an 8% decrease from 2012-13 when consumption was 12,619 GL. The 'Agriculture' industry accounted for 62% of Australia's water consumption in 2013-14, followed by: 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry with 2,295 GL (or 12%) of the total consumption (mostly via distribution losses); 'Households' (1,872 GL or 10%), 'Mining' (652 GL or 3%) and 'Manufacturing' (581 GL or 3%).
  • The decrease in water consumption by the 'Agriculture' industry was driven by a large decrease (20%) in New South Wales, from 6,210 GL in 2012-13 to 4,983 GL in 2013-14. Queensland recorded the largest increase in 'Agriculture' industry water consumption, up 12% from 2,463 GL to 2,761 GL in 2013-14.
Graph Image for Water Consumption, by State and Territory

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing. (b) Includes Sewerage and Drainage Services and Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery. (c) Refer to Glossary "Other industries".

Source(s): Water Account, Australia


Graph Image for Water Consumption, by Industry and Households

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing.;;;;(b) Includes Sewerage and Drainage Services and Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery.;(c) Refer to Glossary "other industries".;

Source(s): Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia; Water Account, Australia




MONETARY WATER SUPPLY AND USE
  • Total revenue from sales of water and related services by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry was $16.1 billion in 2013-14, up 10% from 2012-13.
  • Australian industries spent over $2.5 billion on distributed water in 2013-14, a decrease of 2% from 2012-13.
  • Households' expenditure on distributed water in 2013-14 increased by 14% from 2012-13 to $5.3 billion. Although households' use of 1,722 GL only represented 13% of total net distributed water use (i.e. excluding distribution losses) expenditure by households represented 67% of all expenditure on distributed water in Australia.
  • The 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry spent $597 million during the same period (8% of total expenditure) but used around 58% (7,755 GL) of total net distributed water. Expenditure by industries other than 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' in 2013-14 was reported at nearly $2.0 billion for 3,781 GL of distributed water.
  • The variance in the patterns of expenditure on water observed between the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry and other industries, including households, reflects both different pricing regimes and costs associated with storage, treatment and delivery of water to urban and rural users.
  • The average price of distributed water rose 22% in 2013-14 to $0.59 per kL, up from $0.49 per kL in 2012-13. This was driven by increases in the price paid for distributed water by the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industries and households. However, the 'Manufacturing' industry recorded a fall of 30% to $0.77 per kL.
  • The average price paid by the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing' industry per kL of distributed water in 2013-14 was $0.08 (up 17% from 2012-13) compared to the $3.08 per kL (up 13%) paid by households.
  • The highest state average price paid for urban distributed water in 2013-14 was $4.29 per kL paid by South Australian households, followed by Tasmanian households ($3.52 per kL), Victorian households ($3.39 per kL) and Queensland households ($3.26 per kL).
  • The average price paid by households for urban distributed water rose in the majority of states and territories from 2012-13 to 2013-14. The largest increases were recorded in New South Wales and Victoria (rising by 27% and 24% respectively).
  • The graph below compares relative use of distributed water with relative expenditure on water for the period 2008-09 to 2013-14:
Graph Image for Distributed Water, Expenditure and Use.

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing. (b) Includes Sewerage and Drainage Services and Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services. Data includes water losses or water lost in the course of water delivery. (c) Refer to Glossary "Other industries".

Source(s): Water Account, Australia

  • In 2013-14 the Industry Gross Value Added (IGVA) per GL of water consumed in the Australian economy was $88 million, up 9% from 2012-13 when IGVA was $81 million per GL. This increase was was due to an increase in the IGVA/GL for the 'Agriculture' industry, up 11%.


WATER SUPPLY, SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE
  • A total volume of 92,237 GL was extracted directly from the environment in Australia in 2013-14. The industries that extracted the largest volumes of water were the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry (79% or 73,086 GL, most of which was non-consumptive in-stream use for hydro-electricity generation) and the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry (14% or 12,881 GL, most of which was supplied to other users).
  • The 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry supplied nearly all (99% or 12,881 GL) of the distributed water in Australia in 2013-14, of which 59% (about 7,573 GL) was supplied by irrigation/rural water suppliers.
  • The total amount of distributed water supplied in 2013-14 decreased by 11% from 2012-13 - the volume supplied to the 'Agriculture' industry was down by 17% from 2012-13.
  • Surface water was by far the greatest source for water supplied by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry with 12,425 GL (96% of total distributed water) in 2013-14; this figure was 12% down on the volume sourced from surface water (14,040 GL) in 2012-13.
  • Groundwater provided 376 GL (down from 392 GL in 2012-13), while desalination plants provided 178 GL (an increase of 31% from 135 GL in 2012-13).
  • In 2013-14, the 'Agriculture' industry received the largest share of distributed water with 7,490 GL (58% of total distributed water) while the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry used 2,306 GL (18% of the total distributed use), most of which was through losses to the distribution system. Households used 1,718 GL, or 13% of the total distributed water.
  • About 280 GL of reuse water was distributed for consumptive purposes across Australia in 2013-14, increasing from 268 GL the previous year.
  • The total volume of regulated water discharged back to the environment in 2013-14 was 78,234 GL, of which 94% (73,512 GL) was by the 'Electricity and Gas Supply' industry, almost entirely via hydro-electricity generation (note that regulated discharge estimates exclude discharges by 'Agriculture' and some other industries, as data was not available).
  • The volume discharged to the environment by the 'Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services' industry decreased by 12% from 3,441 GL in 2012-13 to 3,013 GL in 2013-14.
Graph Image for Distributed Water Use - Australia

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Sewerage and Drainage Services and Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services. Data includes water losses or water lost. (b) Refer to Glossary "Other industries"

Source(s): Water Account, Australia




AGRICULTURE
  • Water consumption from all agricultural activities was 12,393 GL in 2013-14, which represents a 7% decrease from 2012-13 when it was 13,287 GL.
  • Water consumption by the 'Agriculture' industry (businesses whose primary activity is agriculture) was 11,588 GL in 2013-14, representing 86% of total agricultural water consumption (12,393 GL).
  • Consumption of reuse water by the 'Agriculture' industry increased by 43% from 72 GL in 2012-13 to 103 GL in 2013-14.
  • 'Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming' (4,172 GL or 36% of all 'Agriculture' industry) had the highest water consumption of all 'Agriculture' industry groups in 2013-14, followed by 'Other Crop Growing' (3,574 GL or 31%), 'Dairy Cattle Farming' (1,831 GL or 16%) and then 'Fruit and Tree Nut Growing' (1,373 GL or 12%).
  • The gross value of irrigated agricultural production (GVIAP) was $14.6 billion in 2013-14, an increase from $13.4 billion in 2012-13. The GVIAP for Dairy increased by 44% or $834 million, to $2.7 billion.
  • 'Cotton growing' was the agricultural activity that consumed the greatest amount of water in 2013-14 (3,099 GL or 25% of agricultural water), down 6% from 3,285 GL in 2011-12. The GVIAP for cotton was up 9% to $1.9 billion, which was 13% of Australia's total GVIAP in 2013-14.
  • 'Dairy Cattle farming' was the second largest consumer of water (1,520 GL or 12% of agricultural water use), decreasing 20% from 1,894 GL. 'Rice farming' consumed 1,082 GL (9% of agricultural water use in 2013-14) decreasing 39% from 1,779 GL.
  • The area of irrigated agricultural land in 2013-14 was almost 2.4 million hectares, remaining largely unchanged from 2012-13. Irrigated land represented 0.6% of all agricultural land in 2013-14. The area of irrigated rice decreased by 34% from 2012-13 to 2013-14, from 113,600 hectares to 74,500 hectares. The area of irrigated sugar cane increased by 24%, from 170,200 hectares to 211,000 hectares.
Graph Image for Water Consumption, Agriculture Industry (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes Forestry and Fishing.

Source(s): Water Account, Australia


Graph Image for Area Irrigated, Australia



EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF SOIL WATER (NOT INCLUDED IN THE PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE TABLES)
  • The estimated quantity of water supplied from the soil in Australia for 2013-14 was 329,114 GL, a 5% decrease from 2012-13 when it was 345,074 GL. Queensland had the largest supply of water from soil of 102,716 GL (or 31% of the Australian total).


EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF CONSUMPTION FROM HOUSEHOLD RAINWATER TANKS (NOT INCLUDED IN THE PHYSICAL SUPPLY AND USE TABLES)
  • Water consumption from household rainwater tanks in Australia in 2013-14 was estimated to be 156 GL. Areas outside capital cities have the largest consumption - 109 GL (or 69% of total consumption). Water consumption from rainwater tanks in 2013-14 was equal to 8% of household water consumption (1,906 GL).