Australia publishes water stats
The Australian government has released information outlining the performance of water utilities, looking at investment in infrastructure and the success of water conservation efforts.
While Australia's water shortages are an ongoing concern, the reports show a generally positive trend with a growth in water recycling and decline in consumption as the population takes on board the need for conservation.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Mike Kelly, said: "The National Performance Report on Urban Water Utilities provides extraordinary detail on the performance of the urban water sector on indicators such as infrastructure investment, per capita water use and wastewater recycling.
"In the past year our urban water utilities boosted their investment in infrastructure by 41% and increased wastewater recycling by 6%, whilst over the same period the average urban Australian used 12% less water.
"It is encouraging to see Australia's urban water utilities working so hard to secure our cities' growing water needs, and to adapt to climate change and a future with less water.
"The National Performance Report on Rural Water Providers highlights the devastating impact of continuing drought on the major irrigation areas in the 2007-08 reporting year, forcing providers to cut the amount of water delivered to farmers by 36%.
"Meanwhile these rural water service providers were able to invest A$350 million in system and infrastructure improvements - an increase of 45% against the previous year."
He said the government was investing in four key priorities - climate change, wise water use, securing supplies and supporting healthy rives.
Its A$12.9 billion Water for the Future plan was helping it to do that.
"As part of this plan, our cities and towns need to use water sustainably, as well as investing in desalination, recycling and stormwater infrastructure projects to reduce our reliance on rainfall," said Dr Kelly.
"The reports I am releasing today show that Australia's urban water utilities and rural water providers are playing a key role in securing our water needs for the future. At the same time, the industry is improving its performance in vital areas including health, customer service, asset management, environment, finance and pricing."