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Industrial Water Survey, 2015

Released: 2018-07-09

Thermal-electric power producers continued to be the country's largest industrial user of water in 2015.

Data from the Industrial Water Survey show that the three main industry groups covered by the survey had a total water intake of 27.5 billion cubic metres in 2015, down 7.2% from 2013. Power producers accounted for 84.8% of the total, followed by manufacturers (13.3%) and mines (1.9%).

Among manufacturers, five industries accounted for almost 95% of the sector's water intake in 2015. This group included paper, primary metals, chemicals, food, and petroleum and coal industries.

The vast majority of the intake was returned to the water supply. Total water discharge for the three main industry groups in 2015 was 26.8 billion cubic metres. Thermal-electric power producers accounted for 85.6% of the total, followed by manufacturing industries (11.8%) and mining industries (2.3%).

Prior to discharge, these same industries recirculated 8.3 billion cubic metres of water, a decrease of 10.8% compared with 2013. The thermal-electric power producers accounted for 64.8% of this total, followed by manufacturing industries (29.2%) and mining industries (6.0%).

The three groups had water costs totalling just over $1.8 billion.

  Note to readers

The 2015 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 re-circulated 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.

Contact information

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