Water use on Australian farms

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released a publication titled Water Use on Australian Farms.

Growing pasture for grazing was the biggest use of irrigation water in Australia in 2005-06. The Water Use on Farms survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics…found that the average irrigation rate of 4.2 megalitres per hectare was unchanged from the year before.

Of the 11,905 gigalitres used nationally by agriculture, 91.1 per cent was used to irrigate pastures and crops on 2.6 million hectares of land. NSW was the biggest user of irrigation water, taking 41.2 per cent of the national total.
Western Australia had the highest rate per hectare, at 5.1 megalitres, followed by NSW with 4.5 megalitres.

Pasture for grazing accounted for 26.5 per cent of irrigation water used nationally followed by cotton (16.1 per cent), rice (11.3) and sugar cane (10.2). In NSW rice and cotton were the major users of irrigation water, accounting for 27 and 25 per cent respectively.

Read the rest of this article by Daniel Lewis and Stephanie Peatling in today’s online edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The report is available on the ABS site.

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