4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/11/2017   
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23 November 2017
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)

Household water use increases 3%

A total 16,132 gigalitres of water was consumed over the 2015-16 year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced today in its annual snapshot of water supply and use for the Australian economy.

“Household use of water increased slightly with consumption up 3 per cent to 1,899 gigalitres in 2015-16,” Lauren Binns, the Director of Agriculture and Environment Statistics at the ABS, said.

While total water consumption by households increased 3 per cent in 2015-16, an increasing number of households meant that each individual household only increased their water use by around 1 per cent.

“Comparing demographic data such as number of households and Australian population with information on the volume of water used by people gives a clearer understanding of how households are adjusting their water consumption patterns,” Ms Binns said.

The Australian Water Account also presents information on how different industries use water through the year.

"The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industries continued to be the biggest consumers of water in 2015-16, accounting for 60 per cent of Australia's total water consumption or 9,604 gigalitres," Ms Binns said, "However, Agriculture also continues to be one of the more water intensive industries in the economy, producing $4 million dollars of economic output for every gigalitre of water consumed.”

On average, Australian industry produced $108 million dollars of economic output, for every gigalitre of water consumed - an 11 per cent increase on 2014-15.

The Water Account, Australia brings together a wide range of water related statistics to present an integrated picture of the flows of water between the environment and the Australian economy.

Further details can be found in the Water Account, Australia, 2015-16 (cat. no. 4610.0) available as a free download from the ABS website: <https://www.abs.gov.au>.

Media notes:
  • A gigalitre is equal to one billion litres of water. Sydney Harbour holds around 500 gigalitres.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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