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Physical flow accounts: Water use, 2013

Released: 2015-11-17

Industrial water use intensity

20.3 cubic metres per $1,000 of real GDP



(period-to-period change)

Water use in Canada increased 6.7% from 2011 to 37.9 billion cubic metres in 2013. During this period, economic growth was 4.0% as measured by gross domestic product.

Water use was heaviest in utilities and construction (70.0%). This industry includes electric power generation, transmission and distribution, which accounted for 67.6% of all water use in Canada. This was followed by manufacturing industries at 10.4% and the agriculture industries at 5.3% of total water use.

The biggest percentage increase in water use from 2011 to 2013 occurred in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries, up 30.5% to over 1 billion cubic metres.

Canadian households continued their trend of reducing water use, with their share of total use falling from 9.9% in 2011 to 8.5% in 2013.

  Note to readers

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 input-output accounts. These data are available at the national level only.

Revised data for 2009 and 2011 from the physical flow accounts are now available for water use. Preliminary data for water use in 2013 are also now available. Final 2013 water use data will be available in November 2016.

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

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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