Water Account, Australia presents information on the physical and monetary supply and use of water in the Australian economy. It is compiled as far as possible in accordance with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework. The Water Account also provides information on the water use and consumptive practices of households and key industries (Agriculture and Water supply, sewerage and drainage services).
During 2016-17, an estimated 76,159 gigalitres of water was extracted from the environment to support the Australian economy. Of this amount, 11,663 gigalitres was extracted for distribution (or supply) to industry and households, largely by the Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry (11,592 gigalitres).
Of the total volume of water extracted from the environment, 59,869 gigalitres was used in-stream (for example in hydro electricity generation) and was discharged back to the environment without consumption.
Total consumptive use of water in 2016-17 was 16,558 gigalitres. Of this amount, 10,504 gigalitres was consumed by the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry; 1,483 gigalitres was consumed by the Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry; a further 2,662 gigalitres by all other industries; and 1,909 gigalitres by households. This total of 16,558 gigalitres was an increase of 3% from 2015-16, primarily driven by increase water consumption by the Agriculture industry.
Note on the Murray-Darling Basin
The Water Account, Australia publishes water information on an industry basis for all states and territories and at the national level. Data users who are interested in information on water use by Agricultural commodity (including pastures and crops irrigated), irrigation water sources and irrigation expenditure for the Murray-Darling Basin region, states and territory and national level are advised to refer to the ABS publication Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0).