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Special Issue "Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Use and Scarcity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Arnaud Reynaud

Toulouse School of Economics & INRA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +33561128512
Interests: natural resources economics; water economics; risk management; applied econometric; stated preferences
Guest Editor
Dr. Giulia Romano

University of Pisa
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +390502216409
Interests: utility management; water economics; water governance; performance measurement; governance of public utilities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims at gathering evidence on the impact of price policies (PP) and non-price policies (NPP) in shaping residential water use in a context of increased water scarcity. Indeed, a large body of the empirical economic literature on residential water demand has been devoted to measuring the impact of PP (water price increases, use of block rate pricing or peak pricing, etc.). The consensus is that the residential water demand is inelastic with respect to water price, but not perfectly. This is a puzzling result since increasing the water price is still viewed by public authorities as the most direct economic tool for inducing water conservation behaviors. Additional evidence regarding the use of PP in shaping residential water use is expected. More recently, it has been argued that residential consumers may react to NPP, such as water conservation programs, education campaigns, or smart metering. NPP are based on the idea that residential water users can implement strategies that will result in water savings via changing their individual behaviors. Feedback information based on smart water metering is an example of approach used by some water utilities. There are still large gaps in the knowledge on NPP for curbing residential water use. In particular, contribution regarding costs and benefits of using NPP, and persistence over time of the effects of NPP, would constitute valuable inputs for this Special Issue.

Dr. Arnaud Reynaud
Dr. Giulia Romano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • residential water use
  • price policies
  • non-price policies
  • household behaviors
  • smart meter
  • water price elasticity

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Performance Analysis of Ageing Single-Jet Water Meters for Measuring Residential Water Consumption
Water 2018, 10(5), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050612
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Single-jet meters are one of the most frequently used domestic meters that can be found in water distribution systems. Like any other water meter technology, they have significant metrological limitations that prevent them, even if recently installed, from measuring all water consumption of
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Single-jet meters are one of the most frequently used domestic meters that can be found in water distribution systems. Like any other water meter technology, they have significant metrological limitations that prevent them, even if recently installed, from measuring all water consumption of a domestic customer. After installation, their metrological characteristics evolve depending on the particular design of the meters and their actual working conditions in the field. This work presents a comprehensive set of tests to determine the initial and after installation weighted error of two types of domestic single-jet water meters. Three non-linear degradation models have been derived from the tests results. These models consider age, totalised volume, or both parameters simultaneously as drivers of the weighted error. The results show that even though the construction of the two examined meters is similar, they have been working under comparable operational conditions and measuring water of the same quality, there is a significant difference in the performance between both types. This result highlights the need to conduct individual analyses for each meter type and the impossibility of generalizing conclusions on how the weighted error could evolve over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessArticle Household Water Demand in Andorra: Impact of Individual Metering and Seasonality
Water 2018, 10(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030321
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Despite the large literature focused on residential water use, our knowledge of the impact of individual metering on household water consumption remains limited. Our work aims to fill this gap by providing the first estimate of the residential water demand function in the
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Despite the large literature focused on residential water use, our knowledge of the impact of individual metering on household water consumption remains limited. Our work aims to fill this gap by providing the first estimate of the residential water demand function in the Principality of Andorra, where collective and individual metering coexists. Using a panel dataset covering the years 2006 to 2015, we propose estimating a domestic water demand function for the municipality of Andorra La Vella (the capital of Andorra). Our estimates reveal a price elasticity of the residential water demand equal to –0.7. Facing a price increase of 10 percent, households will react in the short run by reducing their water consumption by 7 percent. Interestingly, the price elasticity is found to be significantly different in single-family units compared to multi-family units. This may suggest a significant impact of individual metering on domestic water consumption in Andorra. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessArticle Still Waters Run Deep: Comparing Assertive and Suggestive Language in Water Conservation Campaigns
Water 2018, 10(3), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030275
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
The current work focuses on non-price policies to achieve residential water conservation, specifically on water conservation campaigns. The authors report the results of a large-scale longitudinal field experiment encouraging residential water conservation among 1500 households. The effectiveness of two commonly-used message phrasings is
[...] Read more.
The current work focuses on non-price policies to achieve residential water conservation, specifically on water conservation campaigns. The authors report the results of a large-scale longitudinal field experiment encouraging residential water conservation among 1500 households. The effectiveness of two commonly-used message phrasings is compared: an assertive and a suggestive message. Assertive messages employ a commanding tone, such as “You must conserve water”, whereas suggestive messages employ a more gentle approach, as in “Please consider conserving water”. Despite the ubiquitous use of assertive phrasing in pro-social messages, and previous research that suggests that, in some cases, assertive language can increase message compliance, the authors show here that the suggestive, gentler, message language can make a more accentuated change in residential water conservation behavior. This may stem from the status of water as a basic needs resource, which may reduce the appropriateness of freedom restricting language, such as an assertive tone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Increasing Block Tariffs in an Arid Developing Country: A Discrete/Continuous Choice Model of Residential Water Demand in Jordan
Water 2018, 10(3), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030248
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Arid developing countries face growing challenges from water scarcity, which are exacerbated by deficient piped water supply infrastructures. Increasing block tariffs (IBTs), charging higher rates with increasing water consumption, can potentially reconcile cost recovery to finance these infrastructures with an equitable and affordable
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Arid developing countries face growing challenges from water scarcity, which are exacerbated by deficient piped water supply infrastructures. Increasing block tariffs (IBTs), charging higher rates with increasing water consumption, can potentially reconcile cost recovery to finance these infrastructures with an equitable and affordable sharing of the cost burden. A firm understanding of the impacts of varying prices and socio-economic conditions on residential water demand is necessary for designing IBTs that promote these objectives. Consistently estimating water demand under an IBT requires a discrete/continuous choice (DCC) model. Despite this, few econometric studies of arid developing countries have applied this state-of-the-art approach. This paper applies a DCC model to estimate residential water demand under IBTs in the severely water-stressed country of Jordan, using 15,811 country-wide household-level observations from five years up to 2013. We extend Hewitt and Hanemann’s original DCC formulation in order to accommodate IBTs featuring a linearly progressive tariff block. We then use the resulting demand function to assess Jordan’s 2013 IBTs and alternative IBT designs. Under the estimated price elasticities, very few IBT designs achieve a full recovery of the financial costs of water provision, but we still identify a potential to improve cost recovery and affordability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of a Programme for Water Affordability on Residential Consumption: Implementation of the “Programa Mínimo Vital de Agua Potable” in Bogotá, Colombia
Water 2018, 10(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020158
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Affordability of services is a determinant for people’s level of access to water. In this study, we analyse the effect of a programme aimed at improving the affordability of water services on users’ water consumption. The programme was implemented in 2012 by the
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Affordability of services is a determinant for people’s level of access to water. In this study, we analyse the effect of a programme aimed at improving the affordability of water services on users’ water consumption. The programme was implemented in 2012 by the local government of the city of Bogotá, Colombia, intending to provide an essential “lifeline” volume of water to poor households free of charge. Our assessment was carried out with secondary data and used difference-in-difference estimators in a panel data analysis of a two-period sample: 2011 and 2014. The unit of analysis was defined based on the city’s administrative divisions and the socio-economic stratification of residences. Over the period analysed, beneficiaries’ household consumption increased, reaching per capita consumption levels closer to those of the upper strata of users. Results suggest that the programme contributes to increased consumption and equity among users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessArticle French Reed Bed as a Solution to Minimize the Operational and Maintenance Costs of Wastewater Treatment from a Small Settlement: An Italian Example
Water 2018, 10(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020156
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
French Reed Bed (FRB) is a particular constructed wetland (CW) solution which receives raw wastewater. Data from the full-scale FRB wastewater treatment plant of Castelluccio di Norcia (center of Italy) were collected to show the FRB capability to minimize the operational and management
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French Reed Bed (FRB) is a particular constructed wetland (CW) solution which receives raw wastewater. Data from the full-scale FRB wastewater treatment plant of Castelluccio di Norcia (center of Italy) were collected to show the FRB capability to minimize the operational and management (O&M) costs. The system was designed to treat wastewater variable from 200 person equivalent (PE) in off-season up to 1000 PE. Data from 2014 up to 2016 showed high removal efficiency in line with French experiences with FRBs. An interview was conducted with the Water Utility to estimate the operational and maintenance (O&M) costs faced by the WWTP, which allowed us to detail the O&M costs for energy consumption, water quality samples, and personnel for inspection. Other O&M expenditure items were estimated on the basis of parametric costs from the executive design. The FRB O&M costs in euro for 500–1000 PE (6–11 € PE−1 year−1) resulted from 5 to 13 lower in comparison to those reported for classical activated sludge systems in an Italian context (45–90 € year−1). The low O&M costs are mainly due to the limited energy consumed and to the minimized costs of sludge management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Operating Cost Coverage vs. Water Utility Complaints
Water 2018, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010027
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
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Abstract
In addressing the topic of decision making in the water sector, what has been suggested to be useful up to this point is benchmarking. This paper aims at exploring the relationship between the Operating Cost Coverage Index and customer complaints about water and
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In addressing the topic of decision making in the water sector, what has been suggested to be useful up to this point is benchmarking. This paper aims at exploring the relationship between the Operating Cost Coverage Index and customer complaints about water and wastewater services for 1898 water utilities in 11 countries, i.e., Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Lithuania, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The data used are the most recent available per country through the International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities (2013–2016). In order to examine the aforementioned relationship and further reveal the key policy messages that are derived by this analysis, parametric and non-parametric group comparisons are employed. The results of those comparisons concerning the two examined indicators of this study consist of two main findings: The first sheds light on the rational argument that well performing utilities open their data to others—at least more so than those not performing as well. The second is that there could be an association between financial performance and the complaints received about water and wastewater services, but this finding requires further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Demographic Factors, Beliefs, and Social Influences on Residential Water Consumption and Implications for Non-Price Policies in Urban India
Water 2017, 9(11), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110844
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
PDF Full-text (828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In rapidly growing urban areas in India and the developing world, water demands typically exceed supply. While local governments may implement management programs to reduce demand for freshwater, water savings are dependent on the conservation behaviors of individuals. A household survey is presented
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In rapidly growing urban areas in India and the developing world, water demands typically exceed supply. While local governments may implement management programs to reduce demand for freshwater, water savings are dependent on the conservation behaviors of individuals. A household survey is presented here to examine residential water end uses and conservation behaviors in Jaipur, India. The survey explores end uses, engagement in conservation behaviors, and the influence of demographic factors, water sources, beliefs about water, and social pressures on these behaviors are tested. The survey was conducted at 248 households, including 29 households in the slums. Our study finds that while the majority of participants recognize the importance of water conservation, they do not necessarily conserve water themselves. Households report engaging most frequently in water-conservation behaviors that require little effort or financial investment. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results and subsequent pairwise comparisons indicate higher incomes, longer water-supply durations, and the belief that droughts are preventable are positively correlated with overall amenability to adoption of water-conservation behaviors and technology. Binomial logistic regression analysis indicates that being in the age group 26–35, having higher income, and giving a neutral response about the responsibility of the government to provide relief during a drought were all predictors of the installation of dual-flush (DF) toilets. Education levels and water awareness were found to have no correlation with conservation behaviors or amenability to conservation technology adoption. Results are applied to examine their possible implications from a demand-management perspective and provide suggestions for further research and policy decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Economic Analysis of Residential Water Use)
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