Governance of Water in Australia Regional Workshop on Water Accounting Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 16-18 July 2007. Michael Vardon United Nations Statistics Division. Overview of Presentation. What are the main issues for water? Policy – The National Water Initiative
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United Nations Statistics Division
Mean annual runoff 387,000 GL
Drought in Australia
70 % Agricultural production
50 % of population
1. Water may be viewed as part of Australia’s natural capital, serving a number of important productive, environmental and social objectives. Australia’s water resources are highly variable, reflecting the range of climatic conditions and terrain nationally. In addition, the level of development in Australia’s water resources ranges from heavily regulated working rivers and groundwater resources, through to rivers and aquifers in almost pristine condition.
2. In Australia, water is vested in governments that allow other parties to access and use water for a variety of purposes – whether irrigation, industrial use, mining, servicing rural and urban communities, or for amenity values. Decisions about water management involve balancing sets of economic, environmental and other interests. . . . . . . .
The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources has responsibility for implementing the following key water initiatives:
The role of the Commissioners is to:
6 States and 2 Territory Governments
Council of Australian Governments (CoAG)
Guided by ABS Water Statistics User Group
Main program outputs:
All products freely available from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au
- Experimental Estimates of Regional Agricultural Water Use
- Experimental Monetary Water Accounts for Australia, 2003-04
- Characteristics of Australia’s Agricultural Water Users
Total water extracted – 79,784 GL
Water returned (almost all for hydro-electricity) – 60,436 GL
Water consumption – 18,767 GL