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Partial Monetary Value Placed on Freshwater

Partial Monetary Value Placed on Freshwater

The first Water Monetary Stock Report, released today by Statistics New Zealand, shows an indicative value of $1.4 billion for freshwater in the year ended June 2003. This figure includes the value of water for irrigation, local authority water supply and hydroelectricity generation but excludes preservation values and most aesthetic and recreational uses.

The report also reviews background and valuation information that may be relevant to further development of the accounts. At present, there is insufficient information to accurately determine a total value for freshwater, particularly on a regional or ongoing annual basis. For the June 2003 year, water used for irrigation is valued at $920 million, local authority water supply rates and charges are $355 million, and water for hydroelectricity generation is valued at $99 million.

In comparison, the net capital stock (including buildings, transport equipment, plant and machinery) was valued at $347.7 billion for the whole economy in the year ending March 2003. The Water Monetary Stock Report is part of a series of environmental reports and accounts being developed for natural resources. The series includes energy and minerals, fish, forestry and water. The Water Monetary Stock Report is available on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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