A preliminary investigation of water usage behavior in single-family homes

Abstract

As regional drought conditions continue deteriorating around the world, residential water use has been brought into the built environment spotlight. Nevertheless, the understanding of water use behavior in residential buildings is still limited. This paper presents data analytics and results from monitoring data of daily water use (DWU) in 50 single-family homes in Texas, USA. The results show the typical frequency distribution curve of the DWU per household and indicate personal income, education level and energy use of appliances all have statistically significant effects on the DWU per capita. Analysis of the water-intensive use demonstrates the residents tend to use more water in post-vacation days. These results help generate awareness of water use behavior in homes. Ultimately, this research could support policy makers to establish a water use baseline and inform water conservation programs.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC02-05CH11231. It is also part of the research activities of International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Program Annex 66, definition and simulation of occupant behavior in buildings. The source data were provided by Pecan Street, Inc. (http://www.pecanstreet.org/), headquartered in Austin, TX. The authors thank this nonprofit research institute for allowing us access to their subscriber water usage database.

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Correspondence to Peng Xue.

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Xue, P., Hong, T., Dong, B. et al. A preliminary investigation of water usage behavior in single-family homes. Build. Simul. 10, 949–962 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12273-017-0387-7

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Keywords

  • water usage behavior
  • daily water use
  • data analytics
  • occupant behavior
  • residential water consumption