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Understanding Household Water Demand in Pune, India from a Water-Energy Nexus Perspective

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Yuanzao Zhu, Christian Klassert, Bernd Klauer, Erik Gawel

2020 American Geophysical Union December meeting, San Francisco, CA

Secured access to water is crucial to people’s quality of life, but becomes increasingly challenging for those who live in the developing countries due to rapid societal and environmental changes. In our case study region Pune, India, challenges in water access (e.g., growing regional water scarcity, constrained and unequal access to water) were identified during a series of stakeholder engagement, and were verified with literature. Household water use in the developing countries is often interlinked with energy use via both household activities and coping strategies in response to insufficient and intermittent public supply, thus the management of water and energy should not be considered in isolation. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of household water demand from a water-energy nexus perspective could greatly improve the integrated resource management for ensuring the secured resource access. So far, few econometric studies on modelling household water-energy demands from a nexus perspective have been conducted, especially in the developing countries.

Based on a water-energy nexus demand estimation framework, we estimate urban household water-energy demand functions and linkages with data from an in-depth household survey (n=1872) in the Pune Metropolitan Region, involving more than 300 variables on household water and energy use as well as household characteristics. 41.5% households from the survey use substantial amounts of energy to pump water from sources such as wells, the piped network and/or tanker trucks into household storage tanks or from them, at an average frequency of 1.28 times per day and an average duration of 61.9 minutes per occasion. We identify significant impacts from factors such as household size, income, water/electricity price and seasons on households’ water and energy demands. Our analysis underscores the need to overcome silo-thinking for efficient water and energy resource management. It provides insights for the local policy makers on necessary tariff structure reform, in particular, with consideration to the impacts of price for one nexus resource on the other. The results of the demand estimation will also be used as inputs to a hydro-economic multi-agent model for further exploring resource management strategies