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Physical flow accounts: Water use, 2015

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Released: 2018-07-11

Industrial water use intensity

18.3 cubic metres per $1,000 of real GDP


8.2% decrease

(period-to-period change)

Water use in Canada decreased by 4.2% from 2013 to 35.7 billion cubic metres in 2015. During this period, economic growth was 3.9% as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2015, industrial water use intensity was 18.3 cubic metres per $1,000 of real GDP.

Industrial water use was heaviest in utilities and construction (68.1%). This industry includes electric power generation, transmission and distribution, which accounted for 65.3% of all water use in Canada. This was followed by the manufacturing (10.2%) and agriculture (7.4%) industries.

The biggest percentage increase in water use from 2013 to 2015 occurred in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries, up 31.4% to over 2.6 billion cubic metres.

Canadian households' water use increased slightly, with their share of total use up from 8.4% in 2013 to 8.8% in 2015.

  Note to readers

Statistics Canada's Physical flow accounts record the annual flows of natural resources, products and residuals between the Canadian economy and the environment. Data are presented to reflect the activities of industries, households and governments, and follow the classification system used in Statistics Canada's supply and use tables. These data are available at the national level only.

Revised data for 2009, 2011 and 2013 from the Physical flow accounts are now available for water use.

A revised table for 2009, 2011 and 2013 for water use per final demand category is now available to reflect the updates to water use data.

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