Research findings and reports
Our research on water efficiency has identified some interesting findings, for example:
- Water-use signature patterns from smart meter data can help water utilities manage demand for water (Smart meter analytics to pinpoint opportunities for reducing household water use)
- In Perth, it is typically more cost effective to improve the water efficiency of public open space irrigation systems than to invest in an alternative water supply. (The most cost-effective ways to maintain public open space with less water: Perth case study)
- Paradoxically, consumer water consumption can increase in response to more water efficient technologies. This behavioural rebound effect means we need to consider how to encourage ongoing water efficient behaviours, as well as invest in water efficient technologies. (A behavioral rebound effect)
- Water-saving campaigns can be more effective when leveraging off similar, existing behaviours. For example, policy makers could consider promoting behaviours that occur in the same location (e.g. to conserve water outside, consumers could plant drought-tolerant species and mulch their garden beds), or involve similar types of activities (e.g. curtailment activities such as taking shorter showers and turning off the tap when brushing your teeth). (It’s what you do and where you do it: Perceived similarity in household water saving behaviours)
- Community members who know about water management are more likely to adopt water-saving behaviours. (Community knowledge about water: who has better knowledge and is this associated with water-related behaviours and support for water-related policies?)
You will find a range of research reports on water efficiency under the categories below.
- Smart meter analytics to pinpoint opportunities for reducing household water use
- Water use signature patterns for analyzing household consumption using medium resolution meter data
- An incremental algorithm for discovering routine behaviours from smart meter data
- A habit detection algorithm (HDA) for discovering recurrent patterns in smart meter time series
- Using smart meters and data mining to inform demand management
- The most cost-effective ways to maintain public open space with less water: Perth case study
- A behavioral rebound effect
- A Behavioural Rebound Effect: Results from a laboratory experiment
- It’s what you do and where you do it: Perceived similarity in household water saving behaviours
- You did, so you can and you will: Self-efficacy as a mediator of spillover from easy to more difficult pro-environmental behaviour
- The Impact-Likelihood Matrix: A policy tool for behaviour prioritisation
- Community knowledge about water: who has better knowledge and is this associated with water-related behaviours and support for water-related policies?
- Promoting Spillover: How Past Behaviors Increase Environmental Intentions by Cueing Self-Perceptions
- How influencing behaviours can accelerate the transition to a water sensitive city: Behaviour Assessment Database
- Urban water metabolism information for planning water sensitive city-regions
- Operationalising resilience to drought: Multi-layered safety for flooding applied to droughts
- From water engineers to financial engineering: Water provision in Australia’s East Coast capital cities, 1945-2015
- Water, history and the Australian city: Urbanism, suburbanism and water in a dry continent, 1788-2015
- Pursuing sustainable urban water management through co-governance – a case study of Marrickville Council
- Urban water metabolism indicators derived from a water mass balance – Bridging the gap between visions and performance assessment of urban water resource management
- Understanding urban water performance at the city-region scale using an urban water metabolism evaluation framework
- A metabolism perspective on alternative urban water servicing options using water mass balance
- Urban metabolism for planning water sensitive city-regions Proof of concept for an urban water metabolism evaluation framework
- Urban metabolism for planning water sensitive cities
- Analysing water sensitive urban design options
The CRCWSC’s water efficiency research has been applied in the following examples:
- It was used to identify opportunities for water efficiency at Queens Park Regional Open Space including wicking bed playing fields and smart irrigation systems.
- The Waterwise Council Program in Western Australia is a partnership that aims to build cooperative working relationships with local governments to improve water efficiency.
- Water efficiency and alternative water supplies led to Josh’s House achieving a 92% reduction in mains water use compared with the average Perth home.
Tools and guidelines
We have developed industry guidance informed by our water efficiency research, for example:
- The Guide to promoting water sensitive behaviours provides practical advice on planning and implementing behaviour programs to increase uptake of water sensitive behaviours.
- We have produced guidance on considering the behavioural rebound effect when predicting the water savings that can be achieved from a new technology.
- The Site-scale Urban Water Mass Balance Assessment Tool can be used to quantify the impact of water efficient fittings and appliances.
Overview of data analytics process (Cardell-Oliver R and Gigney H, 2015. Using smart meters and data mining to inform demand management. Melbourne: CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, p. 7.)