Changes in municipal water use under pandemic shutdown – a neat case study

A colleague sent me this neat paper by Nicholas Irwin and colleagues at the University Nevada Las Vegas about how water use patterns shifted under initial COVID lockdowns. As you would expect, home water use went up while institutional use went down. But was it just a one-for-one offset? No…

[W]e find an initial and continuous decline in average daily usage for commercial and school users. In contrast, we find an initial increase in consumption by residential users with this effect increasing over time. Aggregated across all users, the SAH order led to an increase in net water usage between 32 and 59 million gallons over the first 30 days.

Nicholas B. Irwin, Shawn J. McCoy, Ian K. McDonough, Water in the time of corona(virus): The effect of stay-at-home orders on water demand in the desert, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Volume 109, 2021

One Comment

  1. Would this increase or decrease revenues to the water department?
    If overall use is increased, is this a problem for capacity at initial treatment or at waste water?

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