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Agricultural water use rises, but remains at low levels
In 2009-10 total water used on agricultural holdings increased by 1% to 7.4 million megalitres, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The total area of agricultural land watered increased by 5% to 1.8 million hectares, and volume applied increased by 1% to 6.6 million megalitres. The average application rate was slightly lower at 3.6 megalitres per hectare.
The volume of water consumed by stock and for other purposes fell by 3% to 763,000 megalitres.
New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania recorded increases in area watered. The largest increase was recorded in Victoria (up 70,000 hectares or 19%). New South Wales area watered increased by 9% or 47,000 hectares. The area of rice crop watered increased by 11,000 hectares, influenced by the availability of irrigation water in the Murray-Darling and Murrumbidgee catchment.
Other water use
More details are available in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat no. 4618.0).
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