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 under drought conditions model.The model draws on a range of evidence from the water resource management, economic, behavioural and social science literatures encapsulated as a ‘Water Cultures’ framework. The model has been designed to be driven by seasonal catchment level forecasts of potential hydrological droughts based on innovative climate and groundwater models (Prudhomme et al. 2015). However, the current version of the model is driven by reconstructed historical drought data for two UK catchments from 1994 to 2012. This provides a framework of five drought phases (Normal, Developing, Drought, Severe, Recovering (Environment Agency 2015)) which are mapped to policy driven interventions such as increased provision of water efficiency technologies, media messaging and ultimately temporary water-use bans. The microsimulation model uses UK Census 2011 data to develop two synthetic household populations that match the socio-demographics of each catchment. The models then draw on a range of evidence on domestic responses to drought conditions from the water resource management, economic, behavioural and social science literatures synthesised into a ‘Water Cultures’ framework. The models use this framework to microsimulate (at the household level) the consequences of a range of water efficiency interventions both retrospectively (1994-2012) and prospectively (2016-2021).
The IMA paper will present a new experimental version of the model which uses survey data on UK ‘water use habits’ collected by the ESRC funded ‘Patterns of Water‘ project. This stratified random address-based and therefore representative sample survey of households in the South East of England collected detailed information on household attributes, appliance ownership and ‘water use practices’ which the model converts to estimated ‘litres per day’ per household for each season. The model then combines this with known consumption trends as well as seasonal and weather effects to produce a projected seasonal baseline and to microsimulate the same water efficiency interventions.