Indicator: HS-61 Water quality in human settlements

Data

Satisfaction with Quality of Water for Drinking Purposes
Australia – 1994-2004
Proportion of Persons with Mains/Town Water
Satisfied Not satisfied Depends Don't drink mains water
1995 63.6 33.0 3.4 -
1998 64.6 27.6 4.9 2.8
2001 66.4 26.9 4.3 2.4
2004 69.8 24.0 3.9 2.4

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2004, Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, viewed 28 Nov 2005, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/
b06660592430724fca2568b5007b8619/989527f462991f5eca2568a90013933e!OpenDocument, p. 47

Satisfaction with quality of water for drinking purposes
Capital cities vs rest of Austalia – 1994-2004
Number and proportion of persons with mains/town water
Capital Cities Rest of Australia Australia-wide
('000) % ('000) % ('000) %
March 2004
Satisfied 6667.1 72.2 3091.7 65.2 9758.7 69.8
Not satisfied 2095.1 22.7 1255.3 26.5 3350.4 24.0
Depends 333.3 3.6 208.9 4.4 542.1 3.9
Don't drink mains water 144.8 1.6 188.7 4.0 333.5 2.4
Total persons 9240.2 100.0 4744.6 100.0 13984.8 100.0
March 2001
Satisfied 6135.3 69.3 2721.6 60.8 8856.9 66.4
Not satisfied 2238.6 25.3 1343.3 30.0 3582.0 26.9
Depends 354.8 4.0 224.9 5.0 579.6 4.3
Don't drink mains water 126.6 1.4 189.9 4.2 316.6 2.4
Total persons 8855.3 100.0 4479.7 100.0 13335.0 100.0
March 1998
Satisfied 5718.5 68.0 2444.2 57.9 8162.7 64.6
Not satisfied 2133.2 25.4 1357.7 32.2 3490.9 27.6
Depends 373.8 4.4 245.5 5.8 619.3 4.9
Don't drink mains water 178.4 2.1 175.1 4.1 353.6 2.8
Total persons 8403.9 100.0 4222.5 100.0 12626.4 100.0
June 1994
Satisfied 5161.1 65.7 2372.2 59.6 7533.3 63.6
Not satisfied 2457.6 31.3 1453.7 36.5 3911.4 33.0
Depends 241.7 3.1 156.0 3.9 397.8 3.4
Total persons 7860.5 100.0 3982.0 100.0 11842.4 100.0

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005, Canberra (unpublished data prepared by the ABS for SoE 2006)

What the data mean

There has been an increase in the proportion of people satisfied with the quality of drinking water since 1994. This increase was seen in both capital cities and outside capital cities; the little differences between the data from the two areas.

Data Limitations

The data was collected as a part of the March 2004 Monthly Population Survey, which interviewed persons from urban and rural areas across all States and Territories. However the Northern Territory data refers to mainly urban areas

Issues for which this is an indicator and why

Human Settlements — Liveability of human settlements - Water quality 

The quality of tapwater in Australia is of a high standard when compared to other countries. Tapwater generally conformed to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, except in some remote areas and rural settlements. Tapwater quality varies between locations and people’s perception of water quality was related to factors such as taste, colour, turbidity, odour, and microbial/algae contamination.

Other indicators for this issue:

Inland Waters — Habitat scale influences — Water Quality (for surface and groundwater) - Sediment and turbidity 

Dirty tapwater is also an indicator of excessive turbidity in water sources.

Other indicators for this issue: