National Water Account 2017

Canberra: Key findings

For the water account period 1 July 2016–30 June 2017

  • Total annual rainfall was slightly below average.
  • High rainfall during winter and spring 2016 contributed to a slight increase in storage volume at the end of the year; the region's fourth consecutive annual increase in storage volume.
  • Water use was similar to the previous year reflecting little change in surface water availability in the region.

Climate and water


Rainfall icon

761 mm

below the long-term average


Streamflow icon arrowpointingup

above average

more than last year


Storage icon

84% full


1% more than last year   

Water use

Water sourced

Graph showing breakdown of water sources use in the Canberra region for 2016–17. 89,595 megalitres of surface water was diverted or approximately 12% of total water sourced; Groundwater extracted was 512,228 megalitres or 68% of total water sourced; Desalinated water produced was 149,872 ML or 20% of total water sourced; and Inter-region water was 1,832 ML or less than 1% of total water sourced.

surface water




Water supplied

Graph showing breakdown of water supplied to users in the Canberra region for 2016–17. 59,277 megalitres was supplied to the irrigation scheme or 8% of total water supplied; 282,770 ML was supplied to the urban system or 38% of total water supplied and 411,480 ML was supplied to individual users or 55% of total water supplied

53,821 ML

urban system


individual users


Water status


73,683 ML

total surface water and groundwater allocations

Water assets

279,006 ML

closing net water assets at 30 June 2017

5,871 ML more than last year


260,000 ML

expected water assets at 30 June 2018

decrease from this year