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Rainfall volume Australia 2008-2019

With over 70 percent of its land classified as arid or semi-arid, Australia is considered the driest inhabited continent in the world. During 2019, the total volume of rainfall recorded on Australian land amounted to approximately 2.14 million gigaliters. This was a decline compared to the total volume of rainfall recorded in the previous year.

Australia’s water shortages

Australia relies primarily on surface water sources, which makes its water supply particularly vulnerable to drought. Surface water is used for both municipal water supply as well as for agriculture production. The Murray Darling basin alone supports around 40 percent of the country’s agricultural production. Within the country, lakes and rivers have begun to dry up, leaving many uncertain about water security in the future.

Climate catastrophe

Coinciding with one of the worst droughts in its history, Australia experienced a devastating bushfire season starting in late 2019. While the fires were contained in mid-February, the economic and environmental impacts were disastrous. The correlation between drought and the intensity of the most recent bushfire season has sparked fierce debate over how the bushfire season will be managed in the future.

Total volume of rainfall across Australia from 2008 to 2019

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Release date

December 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Note: The total volume of rainwater available each year is a function of the area averaged annual state and territory rainfall and the land area of each state/territory. Includes mainland area and island area.

Values have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Water supply and consumption in Australia"

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