Urban environmental efficiency refers to how well the built environment encourages the efficient use of natural resources—land, energy and water—and the reuse and/or recovery of waste. In this section, the changing ‘efficiency’ or ‘intensity’ over time is analysed, providing some context to the Increased consumption section.
A range of factors contribute to water efficiency in the built environment: water demand from both households and industry, and the use of water from various sources, including water recycling. Reflecting the trends in total water consumption in the built environment (as seen in Increased consumption), overall per-household water consumption has increased since 2010–11, whereas the manufacturing, and commercial and services industries have all experienced increased water efficiencies during this period.
Household water use efficiency
Since 2010–11, per-household water consumption nationwide has increased by 1 per cent, from 202 kilolitres per household to 204 kilolitres per household. However, the variation between states and territories during this period is large (Figure BLT43). Households in the Northern Territory and Western Australia use the most water per household (455 kilolitres and 328 kilolitres per household, respectively), compared with Tasmanian and Victorian households (173 and 162 kilolitres, respectively). Although most states and territories have shown increases in per-household water use of between 3 and 11 per cent, Tasmanian per-household water consumption dropped 48 per cent between 2010–11 and 2014–15.