National Water Account 2017

Sydney: Key findings

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

  • Total annual rainfall during the 2016–17 year was below average.
  • Water use increased from the previous year reflecting the drier conditions across the region.
  • Despite below-average rainfall for most of the year, storage volumes only dropped by 4% from last year, primarily due to heavy rainfall and high streamflows across the region during March 2017.

Climate and water


Rainfall icon

861 mm

below the long-term average


Streamflow icon arrowpointingdown

below average

less than last year


Storage icon

94% full


4% less than last year   

Water use

Water sourced

Graph showing breakdown of water sources use in the Sydney region for 2016–17. 614,546 megalitres of surface water was diverted or 100% of total water sourced.

surface water


Water supplied

Graph showing breakdown of water supplied to users in the Sydney region for 2016–17. 563,744 megalitres was supplied to the urban system or 92% of total water supplied and 50,802 ML was supplied to individual users or 8% of total water supplied.

614,546 ML

urban system


individual users


Water status


1,337 GL

total surface water and groundwater entitlements

Water assets

2,693 GL

closing net water assets at 30 June 2017

131 GL less than last year


1,970 GL

expected water assets at 30 June 2018

less than this year