UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Supporting the implementation of effective urban water conservation and demand management strategies Klein, Daniel Richard


There is an urgent need to ensure the sustainability of urban water resources. In the face of growing challenges including urbanization, climate change, and increased competition for available resources, new and innovative water management strategies are required. The conventional approach to sustainable urban water management typically focusses on the supply dimension; however, this has proven to be largely inadequate and many are calling for a new approach to addressing this issue. The aim of this thesis is to examine how the water meter data management and analysis systems might be improved to better support water conservation efforts by exploring the literature and carrying out a case study of the City of Vancouver. Literature covering the field of urban water demand modeling as well as conservation interventions and their use in reducing potable water demand were reviewed within the context of the changing understanding of urban water resource sustainability and its dimensions. A case study of the City of Vancouver parks system then explored how existing water meter data could be leveraged to support conservation efforts. The results found that while there have been substantial efforts undertaken to characterize and understand the factors that influence water demand, behaviour and social factors remain largely unaccounted for which are vital dimensions to include in the development of solutions. The case study findings demonstrated that the analysis of existing data can be successful in understanding conservation strategy options, which can be a useful entry point in addressing this highly complex problem. Across the literature and case study the findings highlight the gap in knowledge around water use and behaviour that is evident when the focus is on sustainability. Future work is recommended to incorporate a wide range of influencing factors that go beyond the conventional supply oriented paradigm.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International