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Article

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Residential Water Use Behavior in Japan

1
Department of Environmental Science, International College of Arts and Science, Fukuoka Women’s University, 1-1-1, Kasumigaoka, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 813-8529, Japan
2
Department of Architecture, School of Science & Technology, Meiji University, 1-1-1, Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-0033, Japan
3
Faculty of Information Sciences and Arts, Toyo University, 2100 Kujirai, Kawagoe 350-8585, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sophia Barinova and Ghassan Chebbo
Water 2021, 13(21), 3129; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213129
Received: 30 September 2021 / Revised: 27 October 2021 / Accepted: 31 October 2021 / Published: 5 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
To investigate the effect of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on residential water use behavior in Japan, we conducted a web-based survey of 1310 people throughout Japan in March 2021, one year after the initial spread of coronavirus. The survey was designed to provide an average picture of Japan. The survey revealed that the time respondents spent at home increased during the pandemic for both men and women in all age groups by an average of 1 h, an increase of 9%. Changes in water use behavior increased almost in proportion to the increase in time spent at home, except for the frequency of defecation, which was limited to once a day. The amount of time spent in the washroom increased by 13%, an increase of more than 1.4 times the increase in the amount of time spent at home. The additional 40% increase could be considered an effect of the awareness of disease prevention. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to end in the near future. In Japan, the pandemic has led to a strong push for the reform of work styles. Therefore, even in a post-coronavirus-pandemic society, changes in work styles may normalize the increased time spent at home and the proportional increase in water use. However, because the change in water use behavior caused by quarantine awareness is a result of the fear of coronavirus infection, it is possible that water use will gradually return to pre-pandemic levels once the source of the fear is removed. To reflect the changes in water use behavior in the design of facilities in the post-coronavirus-pandemic society, it is necessary to continue this survey even once the pandemic has ended. View Full-Text
Keywords: water use behavior; building plumbing design; COVID-19; coronavirus; coronavirus pandemic; questionnaire survey water use behavior; building plumbing design; COVID-19; coronavirus; coronavirus pandemic; questionnaire survey
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MDPI and ACS Style

Toyosada, K.; Nakagawa, C.; Mitsunaga, T.; Kose, H. Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Residential Water Use Behavior in Japan. Water 2021, 13, 3129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213129

AMA Style

Toyosada K, Nakagawa C, Mitsunaga T, Kose H. Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Residential Water Use Behavior in Japan. Water. 2021; 13(21):3129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213129

Chicago/Turabian Style

Toyosada, Kanako, Chika Nakagawa, Takehiko Mitsunaga, and Hiroyuki Kose. 2021. "Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Residential Water Use Behavior in Japan" Water 13, no. 21: 3129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213129

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