California Single Family Water Use Efficiency Study
Bob Raucher, Peter Mayer, Leslie Martien, Michael Kramer-Duffield, James Henderson, Matthew Heberger, Matthew Hayden, Peter Gleick, Andrew Funk, William B. DeOreo, Renee Davis | April 20th, 2011
The California Single Family Home Water Use Efficiency Study includes data from many traditional sources such as billing data, survey data, weather data and aerial photo information to analyze the water use patterns of a sample of over 700 single-family homes across ten water agencies throughout the State of California. Detailed flow trace data was obtained from portable data loggers which were attached to the water meters of each of the study homes. These flow traces provided flow readings at ten second intervals from the magnetic pickup, which generate 80-100 pulses per gallon. These highly detailed flow data make it possible to identify individual water use events and to categorize them by their end-use. The flow trace data tell not just how many gallons per day the home used, but how many gallons per day were used for individual end uses such as toilet flushing, clothes washing, dishwashers, showers, irrigation, faucets and leaks. Detailed use information can be pulled from the trace, giving for example, a count of toilet flushes and toilet flush volumes during a logging period. Researchers used flow trace data to determine levels of daily use in the homes and the efficiency of that use. Although the flow trace technique contains marginal error, such as from the mis-categorization of some events, it provides information on end uses-that is not available from any other source. This report summarizes the results of the study which began in 2005 and was completed in 2010. Water use patterns found during the 2007 logging period were analyzed to show how much potential remains for conservation savings from both indoor and outdoor efforts.