Water use data

Melbourne’s water use has varied over the years, from the high consumption of the 1980's to the water-saving efforts during the 1997-2009 drought.

How Melbourne’s water is used

In 2015/16 Melbourne’s total water use was 426 gigalitres.

​Usage type Water use​ Percentage​


​272 gigalitres
(166 litres per person per day)


Factories, businesses, schools, hospitals
and parks

​106 gigalitres


Water not paid for by customers, e.g. firefighting or lost through water main bursts

48 gigalitres​


Additional water use data is available:

Water outlook

Each year we collaborate with the water retailers to produce the Water Outlook. This is a summary of the state of Melbourne's water supply and demand for residential, business and non-revenue usage over the last decade.

This outlook includes information on water storages, water use and short-to medium-term management of Melbourne's water resources.

System performance is reported in three zones:

  1. High – Melbourne's water supply is secure
  2. Medium – we need to take action to secure water supplies
  3. Low – emergency circumstances requiring a wider range of actions to secure Melbourne's water supply, including more severe water restrictions

Find more information on permanent water use rules.

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