Stay-at-Home Orders during the COVID-19 Pandemic Reduced Urban Water Use

Dongyue Li, Ruth A. Engel, Xiaoyu Ma, Erik Porse, Jonathan D. Kaplan, Steven A. Margulis, and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

We found that the pandemic response decreased California’s urban water use by 7.9%, which can be
largely attributed to an 11.2% decrease in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sector that more than offset a 1.4% increase in the residential sector. The influence of the stay-at-home practices on urban water use is slightly stronger than the combined influences of all non-pandemic factors. This study covers both metropolitans and suburbs; therefore, the results could also be useful for analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on water use in other urban areas.

Published Work | 2021 | Environmental Science & Technology Letters

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