Influencing water consumption at South Staffordshire Water PLC : a disaggregated behavioural analysis of contributory factors
This research identifies factors which influence the consumption of potable water supplied to customers' property. A complete spectrum of the customer base is examined including household, commercial and industrial properties. The research considers information from around the world, particularly demand management and tariff related projects from North America. A device termed the Flow Moderator was developed and proven, with extensive trials, to conserve water at a rate equivalent to 40 litres/property/day whilst maintaining standards-of-service considerably in excess of Regulatory requirements. A detailed appraisal of the Moderator underlines the costs and benefits available to the industry through deliberate application of even mild demand management. More radically the concept of a charging policy utilising the Moderator is developed and appraised. Advantages include the lower costs of conventional fixed-price charging systems coupled with the conservation and equitability aspects associated with metering. Explanatory models were developed linking consumption to a range of variables demonstrated that households served by a communal water service-pipe (known in the UK as a shared supply) are subject to associated restrictions equivalent to -180 litres/property/day. The research confirmed that occupancy levels were a significant predictive element for household, commercial and industrial customers. The occurrence of on-property leakage was also demonstrated to be a significant factor recorded as an event which offers considerable scope for demand management in its own right.