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Historical water use in Auckland


Auckland went from a population of less than 700,000 inhabitants in 1980 to 1.3 million people in 2013. Despite this massive growth, the total demand for water (in blue in the figure below) has only increased by approximately 100,000 cubic metres per day over the same time period. This is due to the reduction in gross per capita consumption (in red in the figure below). Gross per capita consumption is the total water supplied divided by the total population connected to Watercare’s network. Thirty years ago this stood at over 400 Litres per person per day. In 2013 this has reduced to 274 Litres per person per day.
Auckland’s historical water use (1980-2013)
There are a number of significant events and programmes that have influenced and changed historical water use. Events include the 1994 drought and the recession in 2008/09. Significant measures to make water use more efficient include the introduction of universal metering, volumetric wastewater charging by some Local Network Operators from the late 1990s onwards and leakage reduction. The dry 2013 summer increased water use but did not bring it anywhere near the previous consumption levels. Auckland has already come a long way in terms of reducing water use. There is still potential for more conservation.
The demand for water varies throughout the year, peaking over summer. The level of rainfall and temperature has a strong impact on how high the peak is, as shown below:
Variation in daily water use over the year