Canberra Water Resources Total Volume Up 27%

Canberra Water Resources Total Volume Up 27%

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Water In Canberra Cleaner And There’s More Of It

Victor P Taffa

In June 2017 the total volume of water resources in the Canberra area totalled 279,968 megalitres, equating to just over half of the water held in Sydney Harbour, according to new data issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

This was a 27 % increase from 2013 when it was 220,546 megalitres.

New findings also showed that water quality for all the lakes and ponds in the Australian Capital Territory was rated as “good”.

“Canberra’s waterways are such an iconic part of the nation’s capital and these new accounts provide a “one-stop shop” for water information in the region.” Assistant Director of ABS Centre of Environmental and Satellite Accounts Steven May said.

Households in the Canberra area spent more than twice as much on potable water as industry in 2016-17.

“Households spent $124 Million on potable water in 2016-17, while industry spent $52 Million.”

“More water left the Canberra area than entered it, with 262,309 megalitres flowing into the Canberra area via the Murrumbidgee River in 2016-17, and 818,608 megalitres flowing out that’s a difference of 556,300 megalitres and means Canberra’s net water consumption is relatively small.”

“Most water used by households and industry in the area is returned to the environment as treated wastewater discharge.” Mr. May said.

Collaboration between the ABS and BoM the two organisations’ first partnership on water statistics builds on previous work by the ACT Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment and studied data from 2013-2017.

Findings also showed that the major reservoirs such as Bendora, Corin, Cotter and Googong dams, accounted for 86 % of the 279,002 megalitres, with the remainder held in lakes (14 %) and rivers (0.3 %).

Households and industry used 49,958 megalitres of water taken from Canberra’s water stocks, with 41,050 megalitres of water returned to the environment in the form of treated wastewater flows to the Molonglo River.

In 2016-17 the water quality recorded for all the lakes and ponds in the Canberra area was rated as “good”.

Cotter River recorded higher water quality when compared to the Murrumbidgee River and the Molonglo River, though both these rivers recorded improved water quality in 2016-17 compared to 2013-14.