Looking for other content in this section?
< GO BACK

How does Auckland compare

Auckland aspires to be the ‘world’s most liveable city’. Other cities were identified from the top ten of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) Global liveability report (August 2012). Those cities where water consumption data are available are shown in Table 1.
 
The EIU’s Global Liveability rankings
Ranking
City
Country
Gross PCC (L/p/d)
Year
1
Melbourne
Australia
331.0
2005
2
Vienna
Austria
217.5
2007
3
Vancouver
Canada
471.0
2011
4
Toronto
Canada
430.8
2010
5
Adelaide
Australia
323.0
2012
6
Calgary
Canada
428.9
2005
7
Sydney
Australia
297.0
2012
8
Helsinki
Finland
209.0
2007
9
Perth
Australia
Not available
 
10
Auckland
New Zealand
271.0
2012
 
The gross PCC data reported in the table above cover a variety of years. As such direct comparisons should not be made. However, it can be seen that the European cities in the index perform better than Auckland, which may be attributed to a more service-based economy in these cities, strong water saving culture or denser urban development. Conversely, Auckland compares well against the Australian and Canadian cities with a significantly lower gross PCC.
  

What influences water consumption?

 
Influence of charging regimes and pricing on per capita consumption
All water supplied in the Auckland region is metered, with the price of water being the same for both residential and non-residential customers. Water is charged volumetrically at a rate of $1.343 per 1,000 litres (GST inclusive, 2012-13 prices). The water used in Auckland reduced significantly following the introduction of metering and this has been a key component of managing demand to date. Paying for their own actual usage is a great financial incentive for users to be more water-wise.
 
Influence of the economy on per capita consumption
There are a number of factors which influence water demand, including the recession of 2008-2009 which may have contributed to the significant drop in consumption over this period.
 
Influence of climate on per capita consumption
A study commissioned in 2011 indicated that climate variables (monthly mean temperature and soil moisture deficit) demonstrated the strongest statistical significance towards influencing demand.
The figure below shows the effect summer rainfall has on annual gross PCC. The chart shows summer rainfall (December to February) against the long term trend for normal, below normal and above normal conditions.
 
 
 
 
This shows that summer rainfall tends to influence gross PCC. When adjacent years are compared, gross PCC is lower in wet years and higher in dry years.
 
2013 has been the year with the lowest level of summer rainfall in the last ten years, which was a major contribution to gross PCC going up this year. However, it is noticeable that 2013 gross PCC is lower than gross PCC in previous years that were not as dry.
 
Improving our understanding of per capita consumption in Auckland
Watercare will continue to monitor and review consumption data to identify trends and will use this information to inform its approach to demand management. As part of this work, Watercare is supporting a Doctorate student to conduct research on the “Future Implications of Past Domestic Usage Trends”.
 
This research will investigate the reasons for the reduction in residential demand over the last 10 years and the effect Auckland’s strategic plans will have on these trends. The research will also cover the implications on water use over time of the replacement of appliances, changes in technology and changes to the current housing stock. Data from this research is not expected to be available before 2015, but will be important for Watercare’s future planning.