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Modeling the effect of weather conditions on urban water demand in multiple network areas: a practical approach to improve monthly and seasonal operation

Cabral, M. ; Mamade, A. ; Loureiro, D.; Amado, Conceição; Covas, D.

Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology - Aqua, 65(8) (2016), 612-625

The current paper is aimed at studying the influence of weather conditions on urban water consumption using available continuous flow measurements from existing District Metered Areas (DMA), belonging to different Portuguese water distribution systems. A three-step methodology was followed: Data processing; DMA segmentation in terms of billed consumption and socio-demographic characteristics; and Demand modeling. Cluster analysis was carried out to segment the different DMA with similar billed consumption and multiple linear regression analysis was used to describe the effect of weather variables (temperature and rainfall) on water consumption. Three well-defined DMA clusters were identified and the respective demand models were obtained for each group. Results have shown that temperature has a significant influence on water consumption, particularly in DMA in which the public billed consumption (29%) and the domestic billed consumption in the third and fourth tariff levels (10.7 and 10.1%, respectively) are relevant. The relationship between consumption and rainfall is not as evident as the relationship with temperature; however, the rainfall variable is equally important in the construction of demand models. These results allow improving monthly and seasonal network operation, since these allow a more robust profiling of the water uses as well as modeling demand for different weather conditions.