Accounting for Water Insecurity in Domestic Water Demand Modeling.
water planning efficacy depends upon the predictability of the systems under management.
Water demand management uses price elasticity estimates to predict consumer demand in
relation to water pricing changes, but studies have shown that many additional factors
effect water consumption. Development scholars document the need for water security,
however, much of the water secu... read morerity literature focuses on broad policies which can
influence water demand. Previous domestic water demand studies have not considered how
water security can affect a population's consumption behavior. This study is the first
to model the influence of water insecurity on water demand. A subjective indicator scale
measuring water insecurity among consumers in the Palestinian West Bank is developed and
included as a variable to explore how perceptions of control, or lack thereof, impact
consumption behavior and resulting estimates of price elasticity. A multivariate
regression model demonstrates the significance of a water insecurity variable for data
sets encompassing disparate water access. When accounting for insecurity, the R2 value
improves and the marginal price a household is willing to pay becomes a significant
predictor for the household quantity consumption. The model denotes that, with all other
variables held constant, a household will buy more water when the users are more water
insecure. Though the reasons behind this trend require further study, the findings
suggest broad policy implications by demonstrating that water distribution practices in
scarcity conditions can promote consumer welfare and efficient water
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Advisor: Richard Vogel.
Committee: Richard Vogel, Annette Huber-Lee, and Elena Naumova.
Keywords: Water resources management, and Environmental engineering.read less