Latest release

Integrated Water Accounts for the Canberra region methodology

Reference period
2013-14 to 2016-17
Released
26/05/2020
Next release Unknown
First release

Explanatory notes

Introduction

1 These Explanatory Notes focus on the methods used for the sections of the accounts prepared according to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA) framework. Please follow this link http://www.bom.gov.au/water/nwa/2018/canberra-integrated-pilot/supportinginformation/methods.shtml to the Bureau of Meteorology methods section, describing the methods used for the sections of the accounts prepared according to the Australian Water Accounting Standard.

2 The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Bureau of Meteorology produce annual national water accounts of different types, for differing but complementary purposes, using two distinct frameworks. A collaboration between these two government organisations has produced an integrated set of water accounts for the Canberra region, providing an example of two key government organisations working together to produce a valuable set of environmental-economic accounts.

3 As a result of the collaboration, a joint ABS/Bureau of Meteorology publication has been produced, presenting water accounts using the Australian Water Accounting Standards (AWAS 1) framework, including water accounting statements and contextual analysis, as well as four sets of integrated water accounts compiled using the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), for the reference period 2013-14 to 2016-17, including accounts for:

  • water assets;
  • physical supply and use of water;
  • monetary supply and use of water; and
  • water condition/quality.
     

4 The ABS contribution to this publication is based on extending the concepts in its annual publication Water Account, Australia (WAA) (cat. no 4610.0), one of the environmental-economic accounts produced by the ABS that is compiled, as far as possible, in accordance with the SEEA framework. The WAA consists of supply and use tables (collectively referred to as flow tables) for both physical and monetary volumes. This joint publication extends the scope of the WAA to include SEEA-based asset and water quality accounts for water resources.

5 The SEEA was first published by the United Nations in 1993 and was elevated to an international statistical standard in 2012. Environmental-economic accounts extend the boundaries of the System of National Accounts (SNA) framework to include environmental resources which occur outside of the economic production and asset boundaries measured by the SNA.

6 The Bureau of Meteorology contribution to this publication, which includes water accounting statements and contextual analysis, is based on the National Water Account (NWA), compiled under the Australian Water Accounting Standards (AWAS 1) framework.

7 The AWAS 1 is based on financial accounting principles. They guide the preparation and presentation of the Bureau of Meteorology’s NWA, which is designed to inform users about how water has been sourced, managed, shared and utilised. The National Water Account also enhances public and investor confidence in the amount of water available, allocated, traded, abstracted for consumptive use and recovered and managed for environmental and other public benefit outcomes (Bureau of Meteorology, 2014).

Scope

8 The geographic boundary in scope for this publication includes the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the surrounding catchment region; it includes the Cotter Catchment, Molonglo Catchment, Gudgenby Catchment, the Queanbeyan Catchment and part of the Murrumbidgee Catchment (see Figure below).

Image shows geographic boundary in scope for this publication which includes the ACT and the surrounding catchment region
The geographic boundary in scope for this publication includes the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the surrounding catchment region; it includes the Cotter Catchment, Molonglo Catchment, Gudgenby Catchment, the Queanbeyan Catchment and part of the Murrumbidgee Catchment, which are each shown in topographical form in this figure.

Water asset account

9 Water asset accounts present information, in physical units (e.g. ML), on the stocks (assets) of water resources at the beginning and end of an accounting period, and present various water resource types as well as origins and destinations of water inflows (e.g. from rainfall and upstream sources) and outflows (e.g. abstractions and evaporation). They link information on abstraction and returns with information on the stocks of water resources (SEEA Water).

10 The ABS has not published water asset account tables as a component of its WAA in the past. The Bureau of Meteorology’s NWA presents the water asset account in a different format to the SEEA framework, presenting a water balance for surface water storage, groundwater storage and the urban water system separately for the Canberra region. This collaborative project provided the opportunity for the ABS to work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to develop a set of SEEA-based asset accounts for the Canberra region.

Scope

11 Water resources that are in scope for the SEEA asset account includes water in freshwater systems, such as from surface water and groundwater. Also included are information on water held in the urban system. The urban water system includes (a) potable and non-potable water supply, including pipes in the delivery infrastructure, 47 urban service reservoirs, tanks and off-stream ponds; (b) wastewater collection, including wastewater lagoons and ponds, pipes, tanks, pits, sumps and storages; and (c) recycled water supply, including pipes, tanks and storage reservoirs. The inclusion of the urban water system in the water asset accounts is an extension of the recommendations of the SEEA Water framework, but was made possible in the Canberra region due to available data. The amount of water stored in the urban water system is relatively small at any given point in time; however, relatively large volumes of water flow through the system.

12 The water asset accounts cover the following water resources:

  • Surface water (large artificial reservoirs/dams, lakes and rivers);
  • Groundwater; and
  • The urban water system.
     

13 Data on stocks of groundwater for the Canberra region were not available, however estimates of some of the inflows to (e.g. leakage from pipes) and outflows from (e.g. extraction through household bores) the groundwater system are presented in this publication.

14 The following data were also not available for the asset accounts presented in the publication:

  • stocks of water held in farm dams;
  • stocks of water held in rainwater tanks; and
  • stocks of soil water.
     

15 In the asset account tables, the 'increases in stocks’ include:

  • Returns from the economy: the total volume of water that is returned from the economy into surface and groundwater systems;
  • Precipitation: the volume of rainfall that directly falls on to water resources;
  • Flood return: the return flow from a floodplain back into a river;
  • Runoff: the volume of water from precipitation that flows over the land surface and into surface water bodies, including major reservoirs, lakes and rivers (note that flows into farm dams are outside the scope of this publication);
  • Inflows from upstream territories: river inflows (i.e. via the Murrumbidgee River) into the Canberra region; and
  • Inflows from other resources in the territory: inflows from one resource to another within the region (e.g. from a river into a major reservoir).
     

16 The ‘decreases in stocks’ include:

  • Abstraction/diversions: the volume of water sourced from water resources to be used in the economy;
  • Evaporation: the amount of water evaporated from bodies of water throughout the reference period;
  • Overbank flow: waterway floods out of a main channel that spill out onto a floodplain;
  • Outflows to downstream territories: river outflows (i.e. via the Murrumbidgee River) from the Canberra region to downstream territories;
  • Outflows from other resources in the territory: outflows from one resource to another within the region (e.g. from a major reservoir to a river); and
  • Other changes in volume: changes in water volume that are not classified or recorded elsewhere in the account, including unaccounted for losses.
     

17 The Murrumbidgee River, which drains the entire Canberra region, is the source of ‘inflows from upstream territories’ and the destination for ‘outflows to downstream territories’ for the Canberra region. The river is one of Australia’s major rivers and is the second longest river in the country. It flows for 66km through the ACT, picking up the important tributaries of the Gudgenby, Queanbeyan, Molonglo and Cotter Rivers, entering the ACT on its eastern border and exiting on the north-western border.

Data sources

18 The Bureau of Meteorology was the primary source of data for the water asset account. Data from the Bureau of Meteorology’s NWA provided estimates on water abstractions/diversions and updated estimates on dam, lake and river stocks.

19 Runoff, flood returns, precipitation, overbank flow and evaporation estimates were obtained from modelled estimates produced by the Bureau of Meteorology.

20 The ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSD) provided data for groundwater and self-sourced water (i.e. water sourced by industries other than the water supply industry) use in the ACT.

21 River, dam and lake inflow and outflow estimates from both within the region and from external territories were sourced from gauge data, where available. The following gauge stations were used:

Station nameStation no
Murrumbidgee River upstream Michelago Creek
41000272
Cotter River above Bendora
410719
Molonglo River at Oaks Estate
410729
Yarralumla Creek at Curtin
410745
Sullivan's Creek at Barry Drive
410775
Ginninderra Creek upstream Barton Highway
410751
Queanbeyan River U/S Googong Dam
410781
Burra Creek at Burra Road
410774
Cotter River at Gingera
410730
Murrumbidgee River at Hall's Crossing
410777
Cotter River below Bendora Dam
410747
Molonglo River below Coppins Crossing
410756
Cotter River below Corin Dam
410752
Cotter River at Kiosk
410700
Ginninderra Creek upstream Charnwood Road
410750
Queanbeyan River at Wickerslack
410760
Tuggeranong Creek U/S Sewer Crossing
410779
   

Assumptions, limitations and methodology

22 All self-sourced water (i.e. water sourced by industries other than the water supply industry) was allocated as abstractions from the river system.

23 Outflows from Corin Dam were also recorded as inflows into Bendora Dam, using Station_no 410752 - 'Cotter River below Corin Dam'.

24 Some runoff was allocated directly to dams and lakes, with the remainder allocated to rivers, ensuring that all modelled runoff in the Canberra region was accounted for.

25 Outflows from the urban water system into other resources in the territory included water delivered to customers, treated wastewater discharge and leakage from pipes (to groundwater).

26 Total abstractions/diversions from major reservoirs were used to estimate inflows to the urban water system from other resources in the territory. Generally, most of the water required to meet Canberra and Queanbeyan’s requirements is drawn from the Bendora Dam with water from Googong Dam being drawn during times of high demand during summer or extensive dry periods. In periods of low water supply, additional water can be drawn from the Murrumbidgee River.

Physical supply and use

27 The physical water supply and use tables describe water flows in physical units (ML) within the economy. These accounts describe the initial abstraction of water from the environment by the economy (i.e. by water utilities and other water users) and its supply and use within the economy, to its final discharge back to the environment (e.g. as treated wastewater by the sewerage industry). Physical supply and use tables follow the same general structure as the supply and use tables presented in the System of National Accounts (SNA).

28 There are several points of intersection between the water asset and physical supply and use accounts:

  • the volume of water abstracted from the environment (surface water and groundwater) by the economy;
  • wastewater collected (usually by the water supply industry); and
  • return flows from the economy to the environment (surface water and groundwater).
     

29 The total supply of water in the supply and use tables is a relatively large estimate, as it is the aggregate of four separate supply 'sub-totals':

  • Supply from the environment to the economy (i.e. abstractions from the environment);
  • Supply of distributed water and reused water (mainly by water utilities) to other users/customers within the economy;
  • Supply of wastewater from industry and households to the sewerage industry; and
  • Supply of return flows from the economy to the environment (mainly treated wastewater from the sewerage industry to the environment).
     

Scope

30 The physical supply and use tables are separated into three main components:

  • Flows from the environment to the economy (natural inputs), including surface water, groundwater and rainwater (delivered through rainwater tanks);
  • Flows within the economy (products), including distributed water, reused water and wastewater; and
  • Flows from the economy to the environment (return flows), including flows to surface water and groundwater.
     

Data sources

31 The primary data sources for developing the physical supply and use tables were:

32 The EPSD provided data for groundwater and self-sourced water use for the ACT, and the Bureau of Meteorology provided groundwater estimates for the NSW component of the region.

Assumptions, limitations and methodology

33 For information on the methods used in developing the ABS Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0), please refer to the Explanatory Notes for that publication.

34 Use of rainwater from tanks was modelled for households only, as insufficient data was available for the modelling of industry estimates.

35 Use of soil water and storm water was not included in the physical supply and use tables due to the lack of available data.

36 There are several key differences between these physical supply and use tables and those published in the ABS Water Account, Australia (WAA).

  • The reporting boundaries for this publication do not align exactly with the reporting boundaries presented in the ABS WAA. The WAA presents national estimates, as well as all states and territories, and therefore presents estimates for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), while this publication includes the surrounding water catchment areas in New South Wales that feed into the ACT. This geographic difference is the major factor for the differences in the estimates in the physical supply and use tables in the respective accounts.
  • This publication includes wastewater as a product, however wastewater is not included in the physical supply and use tables in the WAA.
  • This publication presents the 'water supply' and 'sewerage' industries as separate industries, while the WAA presents them as a combined industry.
  • The physical supply and use tables present estimates of water 'consumption', which represents total use less total supply. In the ABS WAA, consumption is defined as total water use (the sum of distributed water use, self-extracted water use and reused water use) less in-stream water use and distributed water supplied to other users. However, this publication follows SEEA's definition; that is, water that is 'consumed' by an economic unit (e.g. business/organisation) is water that has been incorporated into products, evaporated or transpired while being used by that unit. That is, consumption excludes water that is returned to the environment (e.g. via treated wastewater returns or pipes leaking to the groundwater system) and water that is returned to the sewerage system (for households and industry). For this reason, consumption figures presented in this publication will be considerably lower than those presented in WAA. For example, note that the household consumption figures presented in this publication do not include returns to the sewerage system.
     

Monetary supply and use tables

37 The monetary supply and use section presents aggregates of all available quantitative monetary data (in dollars) in terms of the supply and use of water within the economy, as well the valuation of natural inputs. Supply and use tables illustrate the economic transactions associated with the use of water and the provision of sewerage, drainage and wastewater services (also referred to as 'water-related services' in the ABS Water Account, Australia). Monetary supply and use tables follow the same general structure as the supply and use tables presented in the System of National Accounts (SNA), which is a slightly different format to those presented in the ABS Water Account, Australia.

38 The reporting boundaries for the ABS Water Account, Australia (WAA) do not align exactly with the reporting boundaries for this publication. The WAA presents estimates for states and territories, including the Australian Capital Territory, while the accounts presented in this publication include the surrounding catchment in New South Wales. This explains the small differences in the estimates in the monetary supply and use tables in the respective accounts. Also note that there were small differences between the sewerage services revenue and expenditure estimates presented in this publication and in the WAA, due to slightly different methodologies.

Scope

39 The monetary supply and use tables present:

  • valuation of natural inputs (ecosystem service of water provisioning);
  • supply of distributed water and water-related services in the economy by the following industries: Water Supply; Sewerage and Drainage Services; Mining; Manufacturing; Electricity and Gas Supply; and Other Industries; and
  • expenditure on water and water-related services by industries, households and governments.
     

40 The scope for revenue and expenditure is limited to distributed water, reused water and services related to wastewater, sewerage and drainage.

41 Ecosystem services are the many and varied benefits that humans freely gain from the natural environment and from properly-functioning ecosystems. One such service is 'Water provisioning', defined in this publication, in physical terms, by the runoff or water yield (including precipitation) from the catchments within the Canberra region, which provide inflows to the major reservoirs (Keith et al., 2016). Although the ecosystem services of water provisioning are not generally included as a component of SEEA water supply and use flow accounts, it is a significant service provided to society. The water provided by this service is used (abstracted) by the water supply industry as an input to the production of water supplied and used in the economy and is therefore valuable information for inclusion in water accounts.

42 For further information on the scope of monetary supply and use tables, please refer to the explanatory notes in the Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0).

Data sources

43 Data presented in the monetary supply and use tables are compiled from a variety of sources. In addition to those used in the physical supply and use tables, the following ABS data were used:

44 Data were also sourced from:

  • Bureau of Meteorology National Water Account; and
  • Icon Water.
     

Assumptions, limitations and methodology

45 Revenue and expenditure on water and water-related services for industries and households were sourced from the ABS Water Supply and Sewerage Services survey (2013-14 to 2016-17) and the ABS Energy, Water and Environment survey (2014-15), supplemented by Consumer Price Index and administrative data.

46 Some businesses and households self-extract water for their own use, such as water sourced from on-farm dams used for irrigation. Estimates for the value of self-extracted water have not been included in this section due to lack of reliable data.

47 The replacement cost method (i.e. the amount that an entity would have to pay to replace an asset at the present time) was used to value the water provisioning services, broadly following the method recommended by Edens and Graveland (2014). The value of the ecosystem water provisioning service was estimated by calculating the volume of inflows into major reservoirs and then multiplying this by the market price of water supplied in the Canberra region.

48 For information on limitations, assumptions and the methods used for compiling the monetary supply and use tables, please refer to the explanatory notes in the Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0).

Water quality accounts

49 The water quality accounts quantify the health and condition of waterways across the Canberra region. The water quality accounts do not have a direct link to the economic accounts, in the sense that changes in quality cannot be directly linked to economic values.

50 The water quality data is based on the data from the Catchment Health Indicator Program (CHIP) developed by the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Program. The water quality score is based on chemical and physical indicators of water quality, in order to develop an overall measurement of the water catchment health. The CHIP score is based on the water quality indicators plus the Water bug (WB) and Rapid Assessment of Riparian Condition (RARC) scores.

51 The accounts presents water quality/condition at the beginning and end of the reference period, and how quality and condition has changed over time.

Scope

52 The water quality accounts include rivers, lakes and catchments within the ACT.

53 The lakes and ponds included are Lake Ginninderra, Yerrabi Pond, Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Burley Griffin.

54 The rivers included are the Murrumbidgee River, Molonglo River, and the Cotter River (upstream of Cotter Dam).

55 The indicators displayed in the accounts are:

  • pH (a measure of the acidity or basicity (alkalinity) of a solution);
  • Conductivity;
  • Turbidity;
  • Phosphorus;
  • Dissolved Oxygen;
  • Nitrate;
  • Water bug (WB) score;
  • Rapid Assessment of Riparian Condition (RARC); and
  • CHIP Score.
     

56 The accounts use the Catchment Health Indicator Program (CHIP) for measuring water quality, with the following ratings:

  • 1 Excellent condition;
  • 2 Good condition;
  • 3 Fair condition;
  • 4 Poor condition; and
  • 5 Degraded condition.
     

57 The water catchments included are Ginninderra, Molonglo and the Southern region.

Image shows the water catchments included are Ginninderra, Molonglo and the Southern region.
The water catchments included are Ginninderra, Molonglo and the Southern region, which are each shown in topographical form in this figure.

Data Sources

58 The water condition data is based on the data from the Catchment Health Indicator Program (CHIP) developed by the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Program.

59 Data for Lake Burley Griffin was provided by the National Capital Authority.

Assumptions, limitations and methodology

60 A comprehensive description of the different indicators, how they were measured, the sampling density and how different scores were developed can be found in the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Catchment Health Indicator program.

61 The Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Catchment Health Indicator program does not provide estimates for Lake Burley Griffin. However Lake Burley Griffin is the largest lake in the Canberra region and therefore has been included in this account. The National Capital Authority provided raw data on the water quality for Lake Burley Griffin, and this was converted to the CHIP scores using the scoring matrix presented in the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Catchment Health Indicator program. The matrix used is presented below:

For 2016-17

Indicator RatingExcellent 1Good 2Fair 3Poor 4Degraded 5Comment
pH
06-Jul
5.5 - 6 or 7 - 8
8 - 8.5
5 - 5.5 or 8.5 - 9
<5 or >9
 
Conductivity (ìS)
<=65
<=200
<=350
<=400
>400
 
Turbidity (NTU)
<=10
<=12.5
<=15
<=20
>20
 
Dissolved oxygen (mg/L)     
Not included in CHIP
DO saturation (%)
95 - 105
58 - 95 or 105 - 110
75 - 85
65 - 75 or 115 - 120
>120
 
Total phosphorus (mg/L)
<0.01
0.01 - 0.02
0.02 - 0.05
0.05 - 0.09
>0.09
 
Nitrate (mg/L)
>1.0
1 - 4.9
5 - 9.9
Oct-15
>15
 

For 2013-14

Indicator RatingExcellent 1Good 2Fair 3Poor 4Degraded 5Comment
Indicator Rating
Excellent 1
Good 2
Fair 3
Poor 4
Degraded 5
Comment
pH
06-Jul
5.5 - 6 or 7 - 8
8 - 8.5
5 - 5.5 or 8.5 - 9
<5 or >9
 
Conductivity (ìS)
<=65
<=200
<=350
<=400
>400
 
Turbidity (NTU)
<=10
<=12.5
<=15
<=20
>20
 
Dissolved oxygen (mg/L)     
Not included in CHIP
DO saturation (%)
95 - 105
58 - 95 or 105 - 110
75 - 85
65 - 75 or 115 - 120
>120
 
Total phosphorus (mg/L)
<0.01
0.01 - 0.02
0.02 - 0.05
0.05 - 0.09
>0.09
 
Nitrate (mg/L)
>1.0
1 - 4.9
5 - 9.9
Oct-15
>15
 


62 Dissolved oxygen, Waterbug scores and Rapid Assessment of Riparian Condition (RARC) scores were not available for Lake Burley Griffin. The overall water quality score and CHIP score utilised the average score of the available indicators for the lake.

63 There were no data water quality data available for the Cotter River for the 2013-14 reference period.

Glossary

Show all

Abstraction/diversions

The volume of water sourced from water resources to be used in the economy. This includes water sourced from aquifers and rivers.

Allocation

The specific volume of water allocated to water access entitlements in a given season, given accounting period, defined according to rules established in the relevant water plan.

Aquifer

A geologic formation which is capable of holding water and through which water can percolate. Aquifers are capable of yielding quantities of groundwater for economic activities.

Australian Water Accounting Standards (AWAS 1)

The AWAS 1 is based on financial accounting principles. They guide the preparation and presentation of the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Water Account, which is designed to inform users about how water has been sourced, managed, shared and utilised. The National Water Accounts also enhance public and investor confidence in the amount of water available, allocated, traded, abstracted for consumptive use and recovered and managed for environmental and other public benefit outcomes.

Catchment

The area of land determined by topographic features, within which rainfall will contribute to run-off at a particular point. The catchment for a major river and its tributaries is usually referred to as a river basin.

CHIP

The Catchment Health Indicator Program, run by ACT Waterwatch.

CHIP score

A score on catchment ecosystem condition derived by the ACT Waterwatch: Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Health Indicator Program.

Closing stock

The amount of water stored in a water resource at the end of an accounting period.

Conductivity

A measurement of the total combined salt/minerals within water; used as a proxy for salinity as conductivity is easier to measure than salinity.

Discharge

The transfer of water or wastewater (of any treatment level) from the control of a water supplier or user to the environment.

Dissolved oxygen

The amount of oxygen present in water, either presented as an absolute amount (mg/L) or as a percentage of the total oxygen saturation at a given temperature.

Distributed water

Distributed water is water supplied to a user either through a natural (e.g. river) or non-natural network (e.g. piped or open channel), and where an economic transaction has occurred for the exchange of this water. The majority of distributed water is supplied by the Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services industry (ANZSIC Division 28). The water supply component consists of units mainly engaged in the storage, purification or distribution of water by pipeline or carrier. It also includes the operation of irrigation systems that supply water to a farm and the supply of steam and hot water. Distributed water can include potable, mains and raw water but does not include reuse or bulk water.

Domestic or residential water supply

Water supplied primarily to domestic or residential customers. In rural areas this includes water supplied for stock and domestic uses.

Drainage services

The collection of water through a regional network of surface and/or subsurface drains. This water may be reused or discharged to the environment.

Drainage water

Excess surface or subsurface water collected and conveyed from irrigated lands. It may be captured for reuse or conveyed for downstream demands.

Environmental flow

This is a general term that can have a variety of meanings; the Water Account, Australia defines environmental flows to be: water delivered (released) for the purpose of the environment in accordance with a specific plan prepared in conjunction with and/or approved by the appropriate environmental (resource) regulator. Note that environmental flows can be either Planned (rules-based) or Held (entitlement-based) - see Explanatory Notes 31-33 for more details. Note that in the physical water supply and use tables, volumes of water supplied to the environment as 'environmental flows' are presented only within the regulated discharge estimates for the Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services and Electricity and Gas Supply industries.

EPSD

The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate of the ACT government.

Evaporation

Evaporation is the amount of water evaporated from bodies of water into the atmosphere.

Groundwater

Water occurring below the ground's surface. Note that in the physical water supply and use tables all groundwater is included in self-extracted water. Groundwater is included in distributed water estimates in cases where a water supplier extracts groundwater and then supplies it to another user.

Inflows from other resources in the territory

The volume of water flowing into a resource from another within the region. This includes inflows from rivers into reservoirs and lakes, and inflows from reservoirs and lakes into rivers.

Inflows from upstream territories

The amount of water that flows into the region from upstream territories.

Irrigation

Water artificially applied to soils (i.e. does not include precipitation/rainfall).

Megalitre (ML)

One million litres.

Natural inputs

Flows from the environment to the economy; this includes from surface water, groundwater and rainwater from tanks.

Net change

The change in the amount of water stored in a water resource at the beginning and end of an accounting period (closing stock less opening stock).

Nitrate

A naturally occurring form of Nitrogen. High levels can indicate excessive nutrient inputs into waterways.

NWA

National Water Account

Opening stocks

The amount of water stored in a water resource at the beginning of an accounting period.

Other industries

In the physical and monetary water supply and use tables, Other Industries refers to the following list of industries, according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC):

  • Construction
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Retail Trade
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • Information media and Telecommunications
  • Financial and Insurance Services
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Public Administration and Safety
  • Education and Training
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Arts and Recreation Services
  • Other Services.
     

Outflows from other resources in the territory

The volume of water flowing out from one resource into another within the region. This includes outflows from rivers into reservoirs and lakes, and outflows from reservoirs and lakes into rivers.

Outflows to downstream territories

The amount of water that flows out of the region to downstream territories.

Overbank flow

A waterway flooding out of the main channel and spilling out onto the floodplain.

pH

A measure of the acidity or basicity (alkalinity) of a solution.

Phosphorus

A naturally occurring element. High levels are often implicated in algal blooms in waterways.

Precipitation

All forms in which water falls on the land surface and open water bodies as rain, sleet, snow, hail, or drizzle.

Products

Flows of water within the economy. This includes distributed water, reused water and wastewater.

Rainwater from tanks

The supply of water that is collected from rainwater tanks.

RARC score

A RARC score refers to Rapid Appraisal of Riparian Condition, from the ACT Waterwatch program. This is a condition measurement of riparian vegetation.

Return flows

Water discharged by the economy to a water resource. For example, wastewater discharged into a river by a sewerage service provider.

Reused water

Reused water is wastewater that is on-supplied to another user (with or without treatment).

Revenue - Wastewater (including sewerage and storm water) services

Revenue from 'pay for use' and base rate charges (i.e. volumetric and fixed rates) for the provision of wastewater (including sewerage and storm water) services to residential and non-residential properties. Also includes revenue generated from trade waste charges and government grants and subsidies (for non-capital purposes).

Revenue - Water supply

Revenue from 'pay for use' and base rate charges (i.e. volumetric and fixed rates) for the provision of water supply services to residential and non-residential properties.

Runoff

Water from precipitation or other sources that flows over the land surface, instead of being absorbed into groundwater or evaporating, and into surface water bodies, including major reservoirs, lakes and rivers.

SEEA

SEEA (the System for Environmental-Economic Accounting) is a framework used to develop environmental accounts by integrating environmental information into an accounting framework. The primary manual is the SEEA Central Framework (SEEA-CF) which provides the conceptual basis for describing the interrelationship between the natural environment and the economy.

SEEA-Water

SEEA-Water (the System for Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water) is an elaboration of the SEEA framework. It provides a conceptual framework for organising hydrological and economic information in a coherent and consistent framework, and is consistent with the SEEA-CF.

Self-extracted water

Water extracted directly from the environment (including rivers, lakes, groundwater and other bodies) for the purpose of supplying to others (including other water suppliers) and also for own use. Also includes water produced from salt water desalination.

Sewerage

Infrastructure used to remove sewage (wastewater).

Supply use framework

Physical water supply and use tables provide information on the volumes of water abstracted, supplied within the economy and discharged back into the environment by economic activity and households.

Surface water

Water flowing or held in streams, rivers and other wetlands in the landscape. This includes lakes, rivers, dams, wetlands, snow and ice.

System of National Accounts (SNA)

The System of National Accounts (SNA) is an international framework which can be used to develop a comprehensive, consistent and flexible set of macro-economic accounts. The latest edition is the 2008 SNA.

Turbidity

The degree to which suspended solids in water produces a loss of transparency or murkiness; turbidity is used as a water quality indicator.

Unaccounted changes in volume

The unaccounted for difference volume is primarily attributed to the fact that river losses cannot be quantified in the account, as well as uncertainties associated with the runoff estimate.

Unaccounted water

Unaccounted water is the difference between the measured intake volume to a supply network and the total deliveries from the network. It includes unintended outflows (due to operational errors), evaporation, seepage, leakage, measurement error and theft. It does not include environmental flows or passing flows to downstream users who are not customers of the reporting Water Service Provider.

Urban water system

The urban water system includes (a) potable and non-potable water supply, including pipes and tanks and off-stream ponds; (b) wastewater collection, including wastewater lagoons and ponds, pipes, tanks, pits, sumps and storages; and (c) recycled water supply, including pipes, tanks and storage reservoirs. The inclusion of the urban water system in the water asset accounts is an extension of the recommendations of the SEEA Water framework, but was made possible in the Canberra region due to available data. The amount of water stored in the urban water system is relatively small at any given point in time; however, relatively large volumes of water flow through the system.

WAA

Water Account, Australia.

Wastewater

Any water that has been used once and cannot be used again without treatment, for example untreated effluent, sewage water and trade waste.

Water consumption

According to SEEA, water that is “consumed” by an economic unit (e.g. business/organisation) is water that has been incorporated into products, evaporated or transpired while being used by that unit. Consumption excludes water distributed by the unit to other economic units as well as water that is returned to the environment (e.g. via treated wastewater returns or pipes leaking to the groundwater system).

Water losses

Water that enters the water distribution system of a water provider but does not reach the end users/customers. Water losses can be attributed to seepage, leakage, evaporation (excluding evaporation from water storages), meter inaccuracies and theft.

Water provider/supplier

A business or organisation that provides a reticulated water supply, irrigation water, reuse/recycle water and/or bulk water supply service. Water providers may be government or private and often operate water storage, purification and supply services. They may also provide sewerage or drainage services.

Water stocks

Surface and groundwater resources available in Australia for economic and environmental use.

Water supply services

Refers to the provision of reticulated water supply (including desalinated water), irrigation water, recycled (reuse) water, bulk and/or retail water supply service.

Water system

A system that is hydrologically connected and described at the level desired for management purposes (e.g. sub-catchment, catchment, basin or drainage division and/or groundwater management unit, sub-aquifer, aquifer, groundwater basin).

Water treatment plant

An individual location receiving raw or partially treated water for treatment and ultimate delivery to customers. There may be more than one water treatment plant at an individual facility. Secondary or booster disinfection plants are not included, even where they have pH correction. Water treatment plants that provide disinfection and fluoridation only should be classified as disinfection only.

WB score

WB refers to water bug score. This is a condition measure in the ACT Waterwatch program.

WQ score

WQ refers to water quality score. This is a condition measure in the ACT Waterwatch program.

Abbreviations

Show all

'000thousand
$mmillion dollars
%percent
ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ACTAustralian Capital Territory
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (2006 edition)
ASGSAustralian Statistical Geography Standard
Aust.Australia
AWAS 1Australian Water Accounting Standards
BoMBureau of Meteorology (Commonwealth)
cat.catalogue
CHIPCatchment Health Indicator Program
CPIConsumer Price Index
EPSDThe Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (Australian Capital Territory)
EWESEnergy, Water and Environment Survey
GLgigalitre
hahectare
kLkilolitre
Llitre
mgmilligram
MLmegalitre
mmmillimetre
nanot available
no.number
npnot available for publication
NSWNew South Wales
NWANational Water Account
RARCRapid Appraisal of Riparian Condition
REACSRural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey
SEEASystem of Economic-Environmental Accounts (2012)
SNASystem of National Accounts (2008 Edition)
UNUnited Nations
WAAWater Account, Australia
WBWater Bug
WQWater Quality
WSSSWater Supply and Sewerage Services Survey