Drivers of urban water use

Philip Stoker, Robin Rothfeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


In this paper we develop water demand models for four common urban land use types based on climate, demographics, and built environmental variables. The water demand models estimate annual water use at the parcel level for each land use type: single family residential, semi attached residential, apartments, and commercial. We hypothesize that water use is a function of climate, demographic, and built environmental variables and assessed whether the relative importance of these demographic, built environment, and climate variables on urban water use varies by land use type. We used analysis of variance to determine differences in mean annual use between urban land use types and ordinary least squares regression to measure the effect of independent variables on annual water use. Our paper identifies the driving factors of water use by urban land use type and suggests planning strategies; specifically form-based zoning codes, to promote water conservation in new developments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Urban land use types
  • Water consumption
  • Water demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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