New Report Aims to Increase Accuracy of Long-Term Water Demand Forecasts

August 30, 2018, Oakland, Calif. – Per capita water demand in the U.S. is declining, due in part to the uptake of more water-efficient devices. But long-range demand forecasts often do not account for these improvements, leading to inflated estimates of future water needs, investments in unneeded water supply and treatment infrastructure, higher costs to ratepayers, and unnecessary environmental impacts.

A new report — authored by researchers at the Pacific Institute, Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency and published by the Water Research Foundation — provides practical guidance for water planners and managers to improve the reliability of long-term water demand forecasts. The authors outline how forecasts can be improved by more accurately accounting for changes in water efficiency standards and codes, new technologies, and third-party certification programs.

“Communities across the U.S. are using water more efficiently, yet water planners do not routinely integrate efficiency improvements into water forecasts, thereby overestimating future water demand,” says co-author Heather Cooley of the Pacific Institute. “This report provides forecasters with key examples, guidance, and recommendations for improving the accuracy of future water demand forecasts,” explains co-author Sarah Diringer of the Pacific Institute.

Read more about the report here.  



The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that creates and advances solutions to some of the world’s most pressing water challenges through interdisciplinary research and by partnering with a variety of stakeholders. Founded in 1987 and based in Oakland, California, the Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future.