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Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management ; 149(8), 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20242913


Water use was impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although previous studies quantitatively investigated the effects of COVID-19 on water use, the relationship between water-use variation and COVID-19 dynamics (i.e., the spatial-temporal characteristics of COVID-19 cases) has received less attention. This study developed a two-step methodology to unravel the impact of COVID-19 pandemic dynamics on water-use variation. First, using a water-use prediction model, the water-use change percentage (WUCP) indicator, which was calculated as the relative difference between modeled and observed water use, i.e., water-use variation, was used to quantify the COVID-19 effects on water use. Second, two indicators, i.e., the number of existing confirmed cases (NECC) and the spatial risk index (SRI), were applied to characterize pandemic dynamics, and the quantitative relationship between WUCP and pandemic dynamics was examined by means of regression analysis. We collected and analyzed 6-year commercial water-use data from smart meters of Zhongshan District in Dalian City, Northeast China. The results indicate that commercial water use decreased significantly, with an average WUCP of 59.4%, 54.4%, and 45.7%during the three pandemic waves, respectively, in Dalian. Regression analysis showed that there was a positive linear relationship between water-use changes (i.e., WUCP) and pandemic dynamics (i.e., NECC and SRI). Both the number of COVID-19 cases and their spatial distribution impacted commercial water use, and the effects were weakened by restriction strategy improvement, and the accumulation of experience and knowledge about COVID-19. This study provides an in-depth understanding of the impact of COVID-19 dynamics on commercial water use. The results can be used to help predict water demand under during future pandemic periods or other types of natural and human-made disturbance.