In 2019-20 total water use remained stable, with industry use declining while the amount of water used to generate hydroelectricity increased. With all hydroelectricity water use returned to the river system this led to a decline in Australian water consumption.
- Total water use remained stable at 77,367 GL.
- Total water consumption fell to 11,231 GL.
- Average area rainfall across Australia was 347mm, stable year on year.
Source(s): (a) The Bureau of Meteorology
The low availability of water continued to push distributed prices upwards:
- Households paid an average of $3.46 per kilolitre, up 3% year on year.
- Industry paid an average of $0.46 per kilolitre, up 24% year on year.
A Note on Unit Pricing
The differences between the cost of water for households and for industry is driven by a number of factors, including water quality. For example households require potable water fit for human consumption while industries predominantly utilise non potable water.
Intensity and per household estimates are shown below to illustrate how usage patterns have changed alongside the pricing changes noted above:
- The average amount of water used by households has fallen to 0.18 ML/household.
- Industry water intensity has decreased to 6.15 ML/$m GVA.