• water conservation;
  • drought;
  • residential water demand;
  • water pricing

Abstract:  Residential water demand is a function of several factors, some of which are within the control of water utilities (e.g., price, water restrictions, rebate programs) and some of which are not (e.g., climate and weather, demographic characteristics). In this study of Aurora, Colorado, factors influencing residential water demand are reviewed during a turbulent drought period (2000-2005). Findings expand the understanding of residential demand in at least three salient ways: first, by documenting that pricing and outdoor water restriction policies interact with each other ensuring that total water savings are not additive of each program operating independently; second, by showing that the effectiveness of pricing and restrictions policies varies among different classes of customers (i.e., low, middle, and high volume water users) and between predrought and drought periods; and third, in demonstrating that real-time information about consumptive use (via the Water Smart Reader) helps customers reach water-use targets.