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Non-residential water use in Auckland


How do institutions, communities and businesses use water in Auckland?

In 2012 Watercare sponsored an engineering research project that investigated how non-residential users consume water and their contribution to peak summer water demand. The research project reviewed non-residential water use between November 2007 and February 2012 for monthly metered accounts. One of the project’s primary goals was to establish how non-residential water consumption was divided between the major sectors (commercial, industrial, institutional), and the corresponding subsectors (e.g. schools, agriculture, manufacturing). The results of this analysis were used to determine where savings could be made by non-residential users.

Distribution of non-residential water use in Auckland

Further detailed analysis was carried out to estimate the proportion of non-residential water use in each of the subsectors. The distribution of water use within each sector is described below.
Accommodation, multi-storey offices, and shopping centres were the large consumers of water within the commercial sector. Major uses of water within these subsectors includes cooling (air conditioning and cooling towers), bathrooms (toilets and showers), and landscaping (irrigation of gardens).
The food processing/packaging, manufacturing/refining, and beverage processing subsectors were the largest consumers within the industrial sector, and hence accounted for a major proportion of overall non-residential demand. Major uses within these subsectors fall under the label ‘process’, which generally includes water used for rinse processes and sanitation.
The ‘large institution’ subsector is the highest consumer within the institutional sector and had the second largest demand of any subsector. The majority of the ‘large institution’ demands came from power stations, airports, and government accounts. Hospital water uses generally include cooling, bathrooms, and landscape irrigation.