4618.0 - Water Use on Australian Farms, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2012   
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29 June 2012
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Irrigated land in Australia increases to 5 year high

In 2010-11, the total area of agricultural land watered increased by 7% to 2 million hectares, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Pasture for grazing accounted for the greatest amount of irrigated land at 538,000 hectares followed by cotton at 359,000 hectares. These two commodities accounted for 46% of all water used for irrigation in Australia in 2010-11.

The data also highlights the significance of the Murray-Darling Basin to irrigated agriculture in Australia, accounting for 40% of agricultural businesses irrigating, 61% of all irrigated agricultural land and 68% of irrigation water applied.

The volume of water applied to agricultural land in the Murray-Darling Basin increased by 26% on 2009-10 levels.

The area of agricultural land irrigated in the Basin also increased, to 1.2 million hectares, up 22% from 2009-10. This is the biggest increase in area of agricultural land irrigated in the Murray-Darling basin in the last 5 years.

More details are available in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0).

Media note:
When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.