• Rainfall and run-off amounts vary widely from year to year and place to place, and we have a water management infrastructure with an accessible capacity of more than 80,000 GL to assist in redistributing water across time and space. States and territories have a strong and direct role in managing water resources for both consumptive and environmental purposes.
  • Water volumes extracted from the environment to support the Australian economy have grown in recent years, from 75,000 GL in 2011–12 to 92,300 GL in 2013–14 (ABS2014a, 2015a).
  • During this time, annual water use by households and industry was between 16,000 and 19,700 GL, and households’ expenditure on distributed water grew from $4.3 billion to $5.3 billion.
  • Agriculture was the single largest water-consuming industry, accounting for some 9400–12,800 GL per year.
  • Between 63,700 and 78,200 GL was returned to the environment in regulated discharges.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing spends some $0.6–0.7 billion on water each year, paying an average price of around 7 cents per kilolitre (kL).