Third year of reduced inflows, National Water Account finds

Thumbnail image from National Water Account 2015 video. Visit to watch the video

The Bureau’s latest National Water Account reveals that dry conditions across much of Australia throughout 2014–15 contributed to a third consecutive year of reduced storage inflows and increased demand on the water resources available in many regions, particularly southern and northeastern Australia.

In most regions, water use was similar to 2013–14, however it decreased in the Murray–Darling Basin reflecting dry conditions and lower water availability across the region.

Reduced surface water in the Basin also meant groundwater extraction increased by 13%, while surface water diversion decreased by 18% for consumptive use and 6% for environmental purposes.

Urban water supply in capital cities was similar to previous years, except in Canberra and Sydney where marginally less water was supplied reflecting above average rainfall in these regions.

Applying the rigour and principles of financial accounting to water resources, the National Water Account gives us detailed insight into ten nationally significant water-use regions—accounting for about 75% of Australia’s population and approximately 70–80% of total water use.

We’d like to thank the many collaborators, including State and Territory governments, water utilities and other water agencies that help create the National Water Account each year.

Take a look at the regional accounts for the details:

A national overview and video summary provide a broader picture.

Original article available in enGauge (Bureau of Meteorology), August 2016 (Link)

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