A number of companies have spoken to us about the uplift in household water demand seen progressively since lock down began. The gradual increase in restricted movement, the wave of ‘panic buying’, and a number of voluntary actions taken ahead of government guidance all provide both a fascinating insight into human behaviours, and also the associated water use impact of the close down of business and leisure activities.
An opportunity exists to explore and understand the changes in our domestic water use patterns. With a huge swell of home-working there is an opportunity to understand more about how we are actually using water in our lives, based on the changes between historic consumption, and the consumption since January and the COVID-19 pandemic period. With many businesses closed, we can improve our understanding of genuine water use in homes providing all of our personal care, cooking and washing needs. In turn this is offset from a reduction in non-household consumption that will allow us to estimate the relatively efficiency of mass-delivery of services such as cooking and childcare. The true potential of household water demand was likely to have been realised over the Easter bank holiday weekend when hot, dry weather would have seen a peak in demand from both gardening and recreational outdoor water uses.
This study, using DI data and associated data sources including weather data and open source traffic load data, will provide insight into the genuine domestic water use demand of people in their homes. The results will also provide a scenario case for future demand forecasting, in a world where our working patterns are unlikely to ever return to the ‘normal’ they were just two months ago.
For further information contact Infrastructure@wrcplc.co.uk