Investigator: Dr Ben Anderson

Researchers: Dr Magesh Nagarajan, Dr Despina Manouseli



The Improving Predictions of Drought for User Decision-Making (IMPETUS) project aimed to develop an ambitious integrated water demand model as part of the UK droughts research programme. The model comprised:

  • meteorological models – led by the University of Reading
  • hydrological drought models – led by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • domestic demand models predicated on drought conditions – led by the University of Southampton

As part of this work, SERG developed two domestic water demand microsimulation models. The first used a synthetic sample of 1800 households with constructed water usage habits while the second used the
Lancaster SPRG/ARCC water survey. The latter was the first domestic water demand microsimulation to be based on reported water-using practices rather than water appliance-based assumptions.

The models suggest that the installation of efficient WCs and shower heads appears to have a substantial impact not only on water consumption but also, as a consequence, energy demand. The models were also used to assess the effect of scenarios of other ‘water efficiency’ interventions as well as ‘water use’ behaviour change on water use and energy demand during droughts. This helped to identify opportunities for water-energy nexus interventions to reduce demand on both resources at the same time.

  • IMPETUS ePrints records (publications etc)
  • IMPETUS domestic demand model R code base (fork & go 🙂

Latest IMPETUS updates:


IMPETUS domestic ‘Water Demand’ model results published 02-2018

Full paper: Anderson, Ben, Manouseli, Despoina and Nagarajan, Magesh (2018) Estimating scenarios for domestic water demand under drought conditions in England and Wales Water Science & Technology: Water Supply (Open Access (CC BY 4.0): doi:10.2166/ws.2018.035) Abstract: This paper presents preliminary results from the development of IMPETUS model, a domestic water demand microsimulation model which was developed ...

IMPETUS domestic hot water demand model presented at BECC 2017 10-2017

Dr Despina Manouseli presented a poster on the IMPETUS domestic hot water demand model at the annual Behavior Energy and Climate Conference in Sacramento, California in October 2017. The poster presented a novel, practices-based approach to hot water demand estimation ‘under normal conditions’ using microsimulation to forecast seasonal demand at the household level under various water/energy conservation scenarios. The models suggest that the installation of ...

IMPETUS 'Water Cultures' domestic water demand review published 10-2017

Full paper: Manouseli, D., Anderson, B. & Nagarajan, M. (2017) Domestic Water Demand During Droughts in Temperate Climates: Synthesising Evidence for an Integrated Framework, Water Resource Management. (Open Access) Abstract: Extreme weather events and variations that alter drought and flood frequency add to these pressures and there is therefore a need to develop evidence-based drought scenarios models for ...

SERG Researcher Dr Despina Manouseli Presents at "Efficient Use and Management of Water" Conference 07-2017

The 9th biennial Specialist Conference on “Efficient Use and Management of Water” is held every two years in a different location around the world, has been the flagship water efficiency conference for the International Water Association (IWA). Efficient2017 was an opportunity for water efficiency professionals from all over the world to meet each other, network, and ...

IMPETUS modelling work to be presented at IMA & IWA 2017 conferences 05-2017

Research results from the NERC-funded IMPETUS project will be presented at two upcoming conferences: the 6th World Congress of the International Microsimulation Association (IMA 2017) at Collegio Carlo Alberto in Moncalieri, Italy in June 2017; the IWA EFFICIENT Conference in Bath, UK in July 2017. The IWA Efficient paper will focus on the first version of the IMPETUS consumer water demand ...

IMPETUS researcher provides input to DEFRA REA 04-2017

SERG researcher Dr Despoina Manouseli was interviewed recently to provide input to DEFRA’s Rapid Evidence Assessment on “behaviour change approaches to promote household water efficiency”. Despoina gave interviewer Collingwood Environmental Planning an overview of her PhD research on household water efficiency interventions and also drew on her recent IMPETUS work in this area. In particular she highlighted the ...

Preliminary IMPETUS domestic water demand model results presented at IMA Europe 2016 conference 09-2016

Dr Ben Anderson and Dr Magesh Nagarajan have presented preliminary results from the IMPETUS project at the 2016 European meeting of the International Microsimulation Association.  The paper described their approach to modeling domestic water demand in England using a synthetic 1000 household dataset and demonstrated the results of an Agent Based Model to project water demand ...

SERG wins new funding to model domestic water demand under drought scenarios 03-2014

SERG has secured funding to model domestic water demand under drought scenarios as part of the new NERC funded ‘IMPETUS‘ project. The project, to be lead by the University of Reading will start in June 2014 and run for 3 years. It is aiming to combine meteorological and hydrological models to produce drought ‘forecasts’ for ...