About the 2012 Account

The National Water Account 2012 presents a set of nine reports for nationally significant water use regions across Australia.

The objective of the National Water Account is to disclose information about the total water resource, the volume of water available for abstraction, the rights to abstract water, and the actual abstraction of water for economic, social, cultural and environmental benefit.

The nine 2012 Account reporting regions are:

  • Adelaide
  • Canberra
  • Daly
  • Melbourne
  • Murray-Darling Basin
  • Ord
  • Perth
  • South-East Queensland
  • Sydney

The Daly region in the Northern Territory is a new addition to the 2012 Account. It is an important tropical region under considerable development pressure with significant environmental and cultural water values.

Collectively, these nine regions are home to over 70% of Australia's population, and are where more than two-thirds of the total annual Australian water consumption occurs. Based on 2009-10 data, about 70% of Australia's urban water abstraction occurs in the six capital city regions, with a further 7% taking place in the Murray-Darling Basin region.

The 2012 Account reporting period is 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, referred to as 2011-12. Presenting the 2010-11 comparison year information along side the 2011-12 information provides important insights into changes to the water regime within each region for these two years. The value of this information will increase as more years of comparative data become available.

The 2012 Account includes regional summaries for the first time. The regional summaries provide a snapshot of each region’s water accounts including its climate, surface water storage, urban water supply and irrigation supply for the year.

In response to requests for more supporting material a Companion Guide has also been released with the 2012 Account. It provides an overview of the concepts used in the National Water Account. It includes information about how the physical environment is conceptualised, the way water accounting regions are defined and what constitutes the water assets and water liabilities of the region.

A cooperative approach was taken to producing the 2012 Account. The Bureau acknowledges the support of over 35 reporting partners who have directly contributed to its production. Information about specific data sources can be found in the notes to the 2012 Account.

The preparation and presentation of the 2012 Account was guided by the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1.

Read the Information Sheet (484KB) to find out more about the National Water Account.

Use the Quick Guide (1.8Mb) to see how to navigate around the site.

Access the Companion Guide (4.9Mb) for more detailed information about the development of the National Water Account.


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