How do you know whether variations in climate or progressive water conservation programs are controlling demand?

This is what the Region of Waterloo’s Water Efficiency Manager, Steve Gombos, wanted to know. Total and peak consumption have been falling in the Region since the early 2000s, but can that be attributed to the “one day per week” watering restriction?

To find the answer, Econics isolated total demand from climate factors. We compared demand for climate-similar years and “corralled” climate effects on demand using statistical regression analysis and trend tracking.

Our analysis concluded that total and peak demand has indeed been decreasing independently from climate influences. This means that the primary control of demand is likely the Region’s strong conservation program, indicating that the hard work of Gombos and his team is paying off.

For a more detailed write-up on our analysis, see our article in the 2013 fall edition of the Canadian Municipal Water News & Review.