Socio-technological influences on future water demands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The traditional water supply management approach focuses on (perceived) community requirements that must be met, but not on community demands, which are variable. Therefore a paradigm-shift is required to the way water is considered. In this paper two fundamental management measures to influence daily water demand and therefore conservation are considered: (1) Technological efficiency measures (i.e., via adopting water-saving devices); and (2) User behaviour (i.e., how users interact with and use the technologies). Through a newly developed futures framework, the individual and combined impact of these approaches within residential and office buildings are examined. Results show each in isolation has similar impacts (i.e., 55% reduction) on domestic water consumption per capita, although the ranges over which user behaviour can operate appears to be far more diverse. Most strikingly, when these measures are considered in combination, greater impact (i.e., 80% reduction) could be achieved. Conclusions are drawn as to how far water demand management, through a dual track approach, can go in terms of reducing indoor water consumption of both residential and office users within the UK. The paper provides philosophical arguments for what else is needed in order to secure sufficient, sustainable water supplies within a “liveable” future.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1984
JournalWater
Volume6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • urban water demand management, user behaviour, water saving devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas