Director's message

In accordance with Section 122(1) of the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, I present the National Water Account 2011. This is the second in an annual series of National Water Accounts produced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The national water reform process continues, as does the Australian public's need for readily accessible, relevant and trusted information on how water is being shared and managed. The National Water Account is the tangible realisation of a key element of national water reform called for in the National Water Initiative. This role of the National Water Account is as relevant today as it was when the Bureau of Meteorology was first conferred the responsibility in the Commonwealth Water Act 2007.

The publication of the 2011 Account firmly establishes the National Water Account within the Australian water information landscape and builds user confidence that it is a regular and reliable source of information. The National Water Account applies a new approach to water resources reporting. In doing so it provides a transparent, independent, authoritative and rigorous account of how water was managed in a set of nationally significant water management regions for the 2010-11 reporting period.

The 2011 Account includes a number of notable enhancements compared to the 2010 Account. For the first time, the National Water Account includes both a reporting year (2010-11) and a comparative year (2009-10). Segment reporting for the Murray-Darling Basin, provides increased detail about water management in the sub-areas of the Basin. In response to feedback, the notes in the water accounting reports have been restructured and the Water Accounting Statements simplified. An expanded set of supporting material is provided to assist the user to extract the maximum value from the information presented, and a new online format has been developed. Collectively, these enhancements demonstrate the Bureau of Meteorology's commitment to the year-on-year maturing of the National Water Account.

The publication of the National Water Account 2011 has required significant effort from a large number of people. I am pleased to note the high degree of consultation and collaboration that has occurred between the Bureau of Meteorology and the many water agencies across Australia who have assisted in this task. I thank all the officers involved for their hard work, professionalism and cooperative spirit and their commitment to providing high quality water information for the benefit of the nation.

Dr Rob Vertessy
Acting Director of Meteorology
26 July 2012

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