Na­tional wa­ter use is on the rise

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

THE BUREAU of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has re­leased the lat­est Na­tional Wa­ter Ac­count (NWA) which covers the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

The NWA shows that to­tal wa­ter use across all re­gions was 14,794 GL, al­most 15 per cent more than the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

To­tal wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion was 20,974 GL, al­most 20 per cent higher than the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

Wet­ter con­di­tions than what was ex­pe­ri­enced in 2015-16 led to im­proved stor­age vol­umes in most re­gions, with the ma­jor­ity of Aus­tralia’s wa­ter use fo­cused on ir­ri­ga­tion and agri­cul­tural pur­poses.

To­tal wa­ter used from the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin (MDB) sys­tem across the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year was 11,233 GL, more than 20 per cent higher than 2015-16.

The in­crease re­flected the higher avail­abil­ity of wa­ter and wet­ter con­di­tions across the re­gion.

It was also the first time since 2012 that stor­age vol­umes had in­creased in the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin

The re­port shows that at the end of the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year, the MDB sys­tem was at 69 per cent of its ca­pac­ity, com­pared to 39 per cent the last year.

This is the first time in five years vol­ume in the basin has in­creased.

NWA re­ports cover re­gional catch­ment sys­tems in­clud­ing the North­ern Aus­tralia re­gion ac­counts (Bur­dekin, Daly and Ord river catch­ments); ur­ban re­gion ac­counts for Ade­laide, Can­berra, Mel­bourne, Perth, south­east Queens­land and Syd­ney; the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin; and the Fitzroy re­gion pi­lot ac­count.

To see re­gional re­ports, go to wa­ter/nwa/2017.

The 2017-18 NWA will be re­leased pro­gres­sively in the next fi­nan­cial year.

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