4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2019   
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A number of published estimates were revised and updated on 26 February 2019. These estimates were water consumption for the Agriculture industry in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Associated national figures were also updated. Estimates for other states and territories and other industries were unchanged.

A number of improvements to methodology were applied to this issue of Water Account, Australia:

  • addressing impacts of the scope change in REACS on water account and GVIAP data;
  • improved modelling strategy for estimating water use for the service industries (ANZSICS Divisions E to S);
  • review of water coefficients used in modelling water use in the Electricity generation industry;
  • improvements to the use of NGERS data in modelling water use estimates for Electricity generation industry;
  • realignment of data between the ABS, Bureau of Meteorology and the ACT government;
  • improvements to soil water methodology; and
  • re-engineering of the water compilation systems and processes.

As a result, the 2014-15 and 2015-16 estimates were subject to revision to ensure completeness, accuracy, and cohesion with other available water information.

As noted in Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2016-17 (cat. no. 7121.0), there was a change in scope for the 2015-16 Agricultural Census to all agricultural businesses with an Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) of $40,000 or greater. This is a change from previous ABS Rural Environment and Agricultural Collections, where a scope of EVAO of $5,000 or greater was used. The change in scope better aligns with contemporary definitions of an agricultural business and reduces the overall reporting load for smaller agricultural businesses.

To account for this change in scope:
  • Agricultural activity estimates align with estimates published in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0); and
  • An adjustment is made for the Agriculture Industry data in the supply and use tables to create a consistent time series.

For the GVIAP components the changes have been adopted from 2015-16 onwards, meaning that direct comparisons between GVIAP and other agricultural water items from prior years should be taken with caution.

In the absence of quality data for 2016-17, water use and consumption estimates (including in-stream water use and water discharges) for the Mining, Manufacturing and the service industries were re-modelled from the ABS 2014-15 EWES (as benchmark) and Business turnovers data. The 2015-16 estimates has been revised using the same model to ensure comparability between years.

Definition of water intensity has been redefined to align with that of the SEEA - Central Framework. Water productivity measure has been included to define relationship with that of water intensity.

Data cubes and accompanying tables have been re-formatted to suit user needs:
  • The monetary data has been translated into a Supply-Use format similar to the Physical tables; and
  • Where possible, data has been presented in time series format for comparability and increased machine readability.

The following improvements to Soil Water data were made:
  • Updated household water consumption estimates for the years 2013-14 to 2015-16;
  • Updated household numbers using the ABS publication Household and Family Projections (cat. no. 3236.0); and
  • Updated data on area of pasture for the 2015-16 cycle based on additional information .