National Water Account
The National Water Account is an annual publication delivered by the Bureau of Meteorology. It contains standardised information about the management of Australia's water resources.
What is in the National Water Account?
The National Water Account is Australia’s most comprehensive water information report. It provides information on nine significant water use regions across Australia. It discloses information about water stores and flows, water rights and water use.
The National Water Account reports on the volumes of water traded, extracted and managed for economic, social, cultural and environmental purposes.
Why are we doing it?
Through the Water Act 2007, the Bureau has statutory responsibility for compiling and delivering comprehensive water information across Australia.
Water information is a critical underpinning of the water reform process both on which to base decisions and against which to measure progress. The National Water Account provides information that previously was difficult to access or unavailable to general users in a standardised form. In doing so it supports the achievement of the water accounting objective of the National Water Initiative, which is to improve the measurement, monitoring and reporting of water.
What is new?
Water accounting is a new concept in water resources management. The National Water Account breaks new ground by taking a national and standards-based approach to water resource reporting. The compilation of the National Water Account is guided by the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 (1.83MB) which prescribes the components of a water accounting report.
The National Water Account will continue to evolve and improve, increasing in quality as estimation and measurement techniques, and monitoring and reporting systems, improve. User feedback is vital for ongoing development and refinement.
National Water Account Roadmap
National Water Account roadmap
The National Water Account Roadmap set out the steps in the journey towards regular publication of a National Water Account. This included publication of a pilot version of the National Water Account in December 2009 and the comprehensive first National Water Account 2010. A continuous improvement strategy involving cycles of evaluation and review are leading to developments in methods, coverage and presentation.
The National Water Account is the result of strong collaboration between the Bureau and Australian, State and Territory governments, agencies, water utilities and other agencies.
For more information about the scope of the National Water Account, download an information sheet (484KB).