In 2018-19 another year of low rainfall led to structural change within the agricultural industry driving a decrease in water use. In 2018-19:
- Average area rainfall across Australia was 352mm, down 20% year on year.
- Total water use fell to 76,256 GL, down 9% year on year.
Source(s): (a) The Bureau of Meteorology
The low availability of water pushed distributed prices upwards:
- Households paid an average of $3.29 per kilolitre, up 2% year on year.
- Industry paid an average of $0.43 per kilolitre, up 48% year on year.
A Note on Unit Pricing
The differences between the cost of water for households and for industry is largely driven by the quality of water consumed. Households require potable water fit for human consumption. Industries predominantly utilise non potable water.
Intensity and per household estimates are shown below to illustrate how usage patterns have changed alongside the pricing changes noted above:
- The average amount of water used by households has remained steady at 0.19 ML/household.
- Industry water intensity has decreased to 7.07 ML/ $m GVA, down 20%.