4653.0 - Environment and Energy News, Jan to Jun 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2008   
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Image: Estuary
Climate change and water: measuring the impact

Climate change has potentially significant implications for Australia's environment, economy and society, through its effects on the availability and distribution of water, higher temperatures and increases in the occurrence of droughts, fires and floods.

At a recent United Nations conference, the ABS presented a paper on how water accounts can contribute to our understanding of climate change. Such information can be used to inform our response, for instance, to changing water availability and distribution.

Water accounts enable comparisons of the effects of changes in water use over time, both across industries and sectors and between regions. For example, within the agriculture industry water accounts can help to inform decisions about the cost-effectiveness of irrigating different crops.

Water accounts can also be used to track changing patterns of water use associated with evolving water pricing and trading policies, particularly when such policies target specific sectors of the economy to encourage more efficient water use.

The paper presented at the United Nations conference on Climate Change and Official Statistics, Climate Change and Water: How water accounts can help our understanding, can be downloaded at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/climate%5Fchange/CC_Conference_papers.htm

For further information or enquiries, please contact Peter Comisari on (02) 6252 5381 or peter.comisari@abs.gov.au