Drivers of residential water demand - Analysis and outlook of water utility consumption data

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Water and Environmental Engineering
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Master’s Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering (WAT)
Previous research has identified certain factors to have an influence on residential water consumption e.g. water metering, price and pricing policies, income level, age of residents, and building age. Their significance varies between countries and by location within an individual country. There is no previously published research on this topic in Finland or other Nordic countries. Therefore, in this master´s thesis, an analysis of the common influencing factors on the residential water consumption at the metropolitan region Helsinki between 2004-2014 is provided, as well as predictions till 2040. The aim of this work is to evaluate the development of the residential consumption since 2004, and to identify influencing factors, which have a positive or negative influence on the consumption of the customers. The influencing factors were analysed and statistically evaluated using a mix method approach with the provided consumption, population, and building information data. Block building type was identified to have the highest water consumption as well as the highest decrease in consumption during the observation period. Focusing on the drivers, the building age and the household size were identified to have the greatest influence on consumption. The expected decrease in consumption due to the use of individual meter was not identified. Water consumption schemes in the future were also analysed, and the predictions are presented for Helsinki on district level until 2025 and for the metropolitan region until 2040. The total consumption was found to increase as a result of rising population, while the consumption per person is decreasing due to the saving potential of renovations and technology. Espoo and Vantaa were identified to have the highest saving potential in per person consumption. This thesis gives an overview of the past, current, and future water consumption in Helsinki, and provides a basis for future research.
Vahala, Riku
Thesis advisor
Ahopelto, Suvi
residential water demand, socio-demographic factors, demand forecasting, Helsinki
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