4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2020   
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Summary indicators

Australian water consumption and water intensity increased in 2017-18:

  • Water consumption increased by 4%;
  • Water intensity increased by 1%.

Figure 1. Water Consumption, Gross Value Added (GVA); Chain volume measures, Australia

Figure 1 shows Water Consumption, Gross Value Added (GVA); Chain volume measures, Australia


In 2017-18, total water use in Australia decreased by 4% to 82,393,712 ML.

It should be noted that the Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services industries, specifically water used for hydroelectricity and by the Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Services industry, drives total water use, most of which is returned to the environment or supplied to others through water distribution networks.


Other notable movements, excluding the Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services industries, were as follows:
  • Total water use increased by 6% to 15,194,733 ML.
  • Total industry water use increased by 7% to 13,388,181 ML.
  • Total household water use increased by 4% to 1,806,552 ML.
  • Total water use per capita increased by 5% to 0.61 ML per person.
  • Total household water use per household increased by 3% to 0.19 ML.


Figure 2. Water use by households, Area-averaged rainfall, Australia

Figure 2 shows Water use by households, Area-averaged rainfall, Australia


Households spend much more than industry on distributed water, despite using a smaller volume.
In 2017-18:
  • For distributed water, expenditure by households was 63% of total expenditure.
  • For distributed water, households accounted for 15% of total volume.
  • Households paid $3.15 per kL.
  • Industry paid $0.33 per kL.