Griffith Thomas

Water consumption down but costs up

WATER cost 17% more last year than in 2010 for Australian households, despite an 8% drop in consumption across the nation, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Tuesday.

The Water Accounts Australia data shows an 8% fall in household water consumption between 200910 to 2010-11, down to 1,844GL from 1,699GL.

The figures also revealed the cost of an average kilolitre of water for an Australian household rose from $2.10 in 2009-10 to $2.44 in 2010-11.

ABS director of environmental accounts Mark Lound said with the rise in the price came a fall in total consumption (including industry and agricultural use), down 1% from 13,515GL in 2009-10 to 13,337GL in 2010-11.

"The agriculture industry accounted for over half of Australia's total water consumption using 7,175 gigalitres which represented a three per cent increase from 2009-10," he said.

"Australia also did more with the water it consumed. At current prices, there was a 9% increase in the industry value added per gigalitre of water consumed, to $113 million per gigalitre in 2010-11 from $103 million in 2009-10."

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