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4610.0 - Water Account, Australia, 2000-01  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2004  Corrigendum
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MEDIA RELEASE

May 19, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
73/2004

Water use - Australian economy consumes 50 Sydney harbour's

Australian households and businesses consumed the equivalent of almost 50 times the volume of Sydney Harbour (24,909 gigalitres GL) of water in 2000-01, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Household water consumption increased by 13% since 1996-97 to 2,181 GL in 2000-01. On average each Australian consumed a total of 115 kilolitres (kL). While Australian households consumed an average of 280 kL. The majority of household water was used for outdoor purposes (44%), such as water for gardens and swimming pools.

The agriculture industry consumed two-thirds of water consumption in Australia (16,660 GL). This volume is the equivalent to over 33 times the volume of Sydney Harbour. The largest consumers of water within the agriculture industry were the industry groups of 'livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture' (5,568 GL), 'cotton' (2,908 GL), 'dairy farming' (2,834 GL) and 'rice' (1,951 GL).

The gross value of irrigated agricultural production in Australia in 2000-01 was $9,618 million. This made up over a quarter (28%) of all agricultural production in Australia, on less than 1% of agricultural land.

Increases in the use of reuse water occurred in most industries between 1996-97 and 2000-01. Reuse water made up 4% (517 GL) of total water supplied by water providers in Australia in 2000-01. Reuse water refers to wastewater supplied to another user and also includes water supplied by an irrigation water provider through regional reuse schemes.

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) households combined used the most water for domestic purposes than any other state or territory. However, per capita NSW/ACT had the lowest use of domestic water in Australia (101 kL/capita).

Alternatively, water use in the Northern Territory was the lowest (45 GL) of all states and territories. However, the Territory's per capita and per household consumption was the highest (212 kL/capita and 620 kL/household).

Water Account Australia also presents information on water stocks and water storage infrastructure, and selected issues such as water trading and environmental flows. Further details are in Water Account Australia 2000-01 (cat. no. 4610.0).

Media note:
1 Gigalitre (GL) = One thousand million litres, or a volume of approximately 444 Olympic swimming pools.
1 Kilolitre (kL) = One thousand litres, or a volume of approximately five 44-gallon drums, or one typical box trailer.

WATER ACCOUNT STATE/TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS

New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory combined
  • Households in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) combined used more water for domestic purposes than any other state or territory. However, per capita use of domestic water in NSW/ACT was the lowest in Australia (101 kL/capita).
  • The use of reuse water was the greatest in NSW/ACT (267 GL), or 52% of all reuse water used in Australia). The agriculture industry was the largest user of reuse water in NSW/ACT (240 GL).

Victoria
  • The Victorian agriculture industry consumed 3,725 GL or 22% of agriculture water consumption in Australia (16,660 GL). The dairy industry was the single largest user of water in Victoria accounting for 1,685 GL or 24% of the state's water consumption.
  • The electricity and gas supply industry was a significant user of water in Victoria, consuming 1,536 GL, or 22% of water consumption in the state. Water consumption for this industry was the highest in Australia.
  • The gross value of irrigated agricultural production in Victoria was $2,574 million, the highest of all the states and territories.

Queensland
  • Households in Queensland consumed 501 GL of water for domestic purposes, which was 11% of water consumption in the state. This was the second highest volume of household water consumed in Australia (behind NSW/ACT).
  • Queensland had the highest number of water providers (221), accounting for 46% of the total number of water providers in Australia.

South Australia
  • South Australia had the highest proportion of agriculture water consumption of all the states and territories (79% or 1,302 GL).
  • South Australia had the highest number of rainwater tanks in Australia (318,600), and the highest proportion of population (22%) and households (49%) with rainwater tanks.

Western Australia
  • The mining industry in Western Australia consumed almost half (49%) of the water used by the mining industry in Australia, accounting for 195 GL. Metal ore mining consumed 86% of this volume (167 GL).

Tasmania
  • The forestry and fishing industry in Tasmania used 91% (355 GL) of water use by this industry in Australia. However, most water was used in-stream for aquaculture purposes, and as such, water actually consumed by this industry was only 2 GL.
  • The manufacturing industry was a significant consumer of water in Tasmania (79 GL or 19% of state water consumption), with 87% (69 GL) of this volume consumed by the wood and paper products industry.

Northern Territory
  • Household water use accounted for 45 GL in the Northern Territory, the lowest of all states and territories. However, per capita and per household consumption was the highest (212 kL/capita and 620 kL/household).


WATER ACCOUNT - NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY COMBINED HIGHLIGHTS

Combined water consumption for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) was higher than for any other state or territory, amounting to 9,425 gigalitres (GL), or 38% of water consumption in Australia in 2000-01.

The agriculture industry in NSW/ACT used more water than in any other state or territory (44% of total agriculture water use in Australia). The agriculture industry consumed 7,322 GL or 78% of the total volume of water consumed in NSW/ACT.

The industry group 'livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture' (excluding dairy) consumed 2,590 GL, the largest user of water within the agricultural industry in NSW/ACT. This was followed by rice (1,924 GL) and cotton (1,921 GL) farming.

The gross value of irrigated agricultural production in NSW/ACT was $2,371 million in 2000-01.

Households in NSW/ACT used more water for domestic purposes than any other state or territory. However, per capita use of domestic water was the lowest in Australia at 101 kL/person.

Total household water consumption was 679 GL in 200-01 (7% of water consumption in NSW/ACT). This was an increase of 17% from 1996-97.

The use of reuse water was the greatest in NSW/ACT (267 GL, or 52% of all reuse water used in Australia). The agriculture industry was the largest user of reuse water (240 GL).

Over 4,757 GL of mains water was supplied in NSW/ACT in 2000-01, the largest volume in Australia. System water losses made up 661 GL of this volume, and 14% of total mains water supplied.

The 'water supply, sewerage and drainage services' industry was a significant user of water, consuming 676 GL of water in 2000-01 (7% of water consumption in NSW/ACT).

The manufacturing industry consumed a total of 179 GL. The machinery and equipment industry was the highest user of water (37 GL), followed by the 'food, beverage and tobacco' (33 GL) and 'wood and paper products' (30 GL) industries.

The mining industry consumed a total of 52 GL. The coal mining industry accounted for 65% of this volume (34 GL).


WATER ACCOUNT - VICTORIA HIGHLIGHTS

In Victoria, 7,140 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in 2000-01, the second highest volume in Australia.

The agriculture industry in Victoria made up 22% of total agriculture water consumption in Australia.

The dairy industry was the single largest user of water in Victoria, accounting for 1,685 GL, or 24% of the state's water consumption.

The gross value of irrigated agricultural production in Victoria was the highest of all states and territories at $2,574 million in 2000-01.

The electricity and gas supply industry was a significant user of water, consuming 1,536 GL or 22% of total water consumption in Victoria. Water consumption for this industry was the highest in Australia.

Household water consumption for Victoria was 472 GL in 2000-01 (7% of the state's water consumption). This was an increase of 13% since 1996-97. Per capita consumption of water for domestic purposes was comparatively low (102 kL/person). The majority of water consumed by households was used for outdoors (35%).

Victoria's manufacturing industry accounted for 29% (249 GL) of water consumption by this industry in Australia, the highest volume for all states and territories. Most water was used by the 'food, beverage and tobacco' industry (60 GL).

Victoria accounted for the second greatest volume of reuse water use in Australia (196 GL or 38% of total reuse water use). The agriculture industry used 84% of this volume
(165 GL).

Over 4,410 GL of mains water was supplied in Victoria in 2000-01. System water losses were the highest by volume and by proportion of total mains supply in Australia (737 GL and 17% of total mains water supplied).


WATER ACCOUNT - QUEENSLAND HIGHLIGHTS

In Queensland, 4,711 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in 2000-01.

The agriculture industry was the highest user of water, accounting for 3,454 GL or 73% of Queensland's water consumption.

The sugar industry was the single largest user of water in Queensland, consuming 1,186 GL in 2000-01.

The gross value of irrigated agricultural production in Queensland was $2,402 million in 2000-01.

Households consumed 501 GL of water for domestic purposes, which made up 11% of water consumption in Queensland. This was the second highest volume of household water consumed in Australia, behind New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory combined.

Per capita consumption of water for domestic purposes in Queensland was the second highest in Australia (137 kL/person). The majority of water consumed by households was used outdoors (50%).

Queensland had the highest number of water providers (221), accounting for 46% of the total number of water providers in Australia. Mains water supply amounted to 2,163 GL in 2000-01. System water losses made up 211 GL of this volume, or 10% of total mains water supplied.

Queensland's manufacturing industry accounted for 21% of total water consumption by this industry in Australia, and 4% of total state consumption in 2000-01 (181 GL). The' food, beverage and tobacco' industry consumed 46% (84 GL) of this volume.

The mining industry consumed a total of 109 GL in 2000-01. Metal ore mining accounted for 59% (64 GL) of this volume.


WATER ACCOUNT - SOUTH AUSTRALIA HIGHLIGHTS

In South Australia, 1,647 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in 2000-01.

South Australia had the highest proportion of agriculture water consumption of all the states and territories (79% or 1,302 GL of total South Australian water consumption). The industry group 'livestock pasture, grains and other agriculture' consumed 474 GL of this volume, followed by dairy farming (320 GL).

Household water consumption increased significantly, from 131 GL in 1996-97 to 181 GL in 2000-01.

A high proportion of water used by South Australian households was from self-extracted sources (12%). South Australia had the highest number of rainwater tanks in Australia (318,600), and the highest proportion of population (22%) and households (49%) with rainwater tanks.

The manufacturing industry was a significant user of water, responsible for the consumption of 5% (86 GL) of water consumption in the state. The 'food, beverage and tobacco' industry was the highest user (50 GL), followed by the 'wood and paper products' industry (15 GL).

A large proportion of water use in South Australia was sourced from self-extracted sources (75% of total water use or 1,631 GL). Conversely, a low proportion of water use in the state was sourced by mains water supply (24%, or 524 GL)


WATER ACCOUNT - WESTERN AUSTRALIA HIGHLIGHTS

A total of 1,409 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in Western Australia in 2000-01.

The majority of water in Western Australia was used by the agriculture industry, which consumed 565 GL, or 40% of water consumption in the state in 2000-01. The industry group 'livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture' consumed 176 GL, followed by the sugar industry (124 GL) and vegetable farming (111 GL).

Western Australia's mining industry was responsible for consuming almost half (49%) of the water used by the mining industry in Australia, accounting for 195 GL in 2000-01. Metal ore mining consumed 86% of this volume (167 GL).

Households consumed 245 GL of water (17% of state water consumption).

Per capita consumption of household water in Western Australia was comparatively high at 132 kL/person, an increase of 6% since 1996-97. Half of the water (50%) consumed by households was used for outdoor purposes.


WATER ACCOUNT - TASMANIA HIGHLIGHTS

In Tasmania, 417 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in 2000-01.

The agriculture industry was responsible for the consumption of 53% of this volume, accounting for 222 GL in 2000-01. The industry group 'livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture' consumed 85 GL. Dairy farming was also a major user of water, consuming 76 GL, followed by vegetable farming (49 GL).

Tasmania's forestry and fishing industry used 91% (355 GL) of water use by this industry in Australia in 2000-01. However, most water was used in-stream for aquaculture purposes, therefore water actually consumed by this industry was only 2 GL.

The manufacturing industry was a significant user of water in the state (79 GL or 19% of the states water consumption), with 87% (69 GL) of this volume consumed by the wood and paper products industry.

Water use by the electricity and gas supply industry was highest in Tasmania at 37,405 GL. Most of this water was used for hydro-electricity generation and was in-stream use, so actual consumption by this industry was 36 ML.

Household water consumption was 59 GL, accounting for 14% of state water consumption in 2000-01. Use of water by households was 130 kL/person, with 285 kL used per household.


WATER ACCOUNT - NORTHERN TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS

A total of 160 gigalitres (GL) of water was consumed in Northern Territory in 2000-01, the lowest volume of all Australian states and territories.

The agriculture industry consumed 44% of water consumption in the Northern Territory, of which the majority of water was used by the fruit industry (36 GL), followed by the 'livestock, pasture, grains and other agriculture' industry group (30 GL).

Household water use was the lowest of all states and territories (45 GL). However, per capita and per household consumption was the highest in Australia (212 kL/person and 620 kL/household).

There was a very low incidence of rainwater tanks in the Territory (around 700 rainwater tanks, with only 1% of households having a rainwater tank).

Water consumption by the mining industry was also the lowest in Australia in 2000-01 (6 GL), as was water consumption by the manufacturing industry (9 GL).


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