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Industrial Water Survey, 2013

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Released: 2015-10-27

Thermal-electric power producers remained the country's dominant user of water in 2013.

According to data from the Industrial Water Survey, the three main industry groups covered by the survey had a total water intake of 30.2 billion cubic metres in 2013, up 8.1% from 2011. Of this total, power producers accounted for 84.9%, manufacturers for 13.1%, and mines for 2.0%.

Among manufacturers, five industries accounted for almost 95% of the sector's water intake in 2013: paper, primary metals, chemicals, food, and petroleum and coal.

The vast majority of the intake was returned to the water supply. Water discharge for the three main industry groups totalled 29.5 billion cubic metres in 2013. Thermal-electric power producers accounted for 85.7% of this total, while manufacturing industries represented 12.0% and mining industries 2.3%.

Prior to discharge, these same industries recirculated 8.3 billion cubic metres of water, up 35.2% from 2011. Of this total, thermal-electric power producers accounted for 63.7%, manufacturing industries for 31.0%, and mining industries for the remaining 5.3%.

The three groups had water costs totalling almost $1.6 billion.

  Note to readers

The 2013 Industrial Water Survey was conducted under the umbrella of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators project, a joint initiative of Statistics Canada, Environment Canada and Health Canada. The survey gathered information on the intake and discharge of water by three groups of industries: manufacturing, mining and thermal-electric generating industries. It collected information on sources of water, purposes for which the water was used, whether water was recirculated or re-used, where the water was discharged and what treatments were used. It also collected information on water acquisition costs, treatment costs and operating and maintenance expenses related to water intake and discharge.

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