Wikipedia has an excellent explanation of the sources and uses of fresh water. Access from this link Wikipedia Water Resource
The management of our water resources is an urgent issue. Use of water can be described as non-consumptive or renewable when the water is returned to the environment and is able to be used again, or as consumptive where the water is not available for future reuse.
How much water do we use?
The latest Water Account from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2004-05 Australia’s total water use was nearly 80 000 gigalitres (1 gigalitre is approximately the amount of water in 500 olympic swimming pools). Around three-quarters of this water was returned to the environment. The remainder was consumed across the economy.
Who uses the water?
Water consumption in 2004-05 was 18 767 gigalitres. The sectors of the economy that used this water were:
- Agriculture: 65% (12 191 gigalitres)
- Household: 11% (2108 gigalitres)
- Water supply industry: 11% (2083 gigalitres)
- Other industries (including electricity and gas): 7.4% (1330 gigalitres)
- Manufacturing: 3% (589 gigalitres)
- Mining: 2% (413 gigalitres)
Sydney Water provides this graph of how water is used in homes in greater Sydney Sydney Water educational resources
retrieved from http://www.sydneywater.com.au/Education/SecondaryStudents/Howdoweusewater/wtrinhomes.cfm 21 June 2010