Consumption of water Australia FY 2015-2018 by sector

During the 2018 fiscal year, approximately 13.4 million megaliters of water were consumed by industry, while around 1.8 million megaliters were consumed by households across Australia. Overall, consumption of water had increased in both sectors during the reported period.

Water usage in Australia

As most of the water supplied in Australia comes from surface water, such as rivers and lakes, ongoing drought has led to issues revolving around water security. Around three quarters of the country’s water usage was used for irrigation and industrial purposes. Agriculture was the largest water-consuming industry in general. While the Northern Territory had the highest per household consumption, water consumption varied significantly from region to region.

Water security becoming a more prevalent issue

As Australia’s water demand continues to rise, the threat of water shortages has also increased. Australia has faced periods of drought throughout history and the current drought has affected many regions across the country. The effects of drought can be linked to other catastrophic environmental events. The economic loss from the recent bushfires was one of the most significant from natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region in recent years.

Total consumption of water across Australia from financial year 2015 to 2018, by sector

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

financial year 2015 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Notes: Consumption includes losses as well as water consumed by the water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry.

Australia's financial year runs from July to June; for example, FY 2017 started in July 2016 and ended in June 2017.

Values have been rounded.

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