Long Term Water Demand Forecasting Practices for Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning
Long-term forecasts of water demand support strategic water utility decisions related to investments in infrastructure for water supplies and sanitary services. Forecasts of future water use can affect many parts of a water utility’s departmental functions, including, but not limited to, planning, engineering, finance, asset management, and conservation. These forecasts play central roles in decisions that can involve sizable economic outlays and environmental impacts, and, as a result, ultimately touch the day-to-day lives of many people.
This webcast presented the findings of Long Term Water Demand Forecasting Practices for Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning (4667), which describes models, methods, and practices currently used to forecast long-term demand, with the principal goal of improving the role and effectiveness of demand forecasting practices. A typology for long-term water demand forecasting methods will be presented to introduce a structure around which long-term forecasts can be described and characterized. Key results of a survey of water utilities will be shared to illuminate multiple facets of water demand forecasting, including technical aspects, communication, and water utility perspectives about forecasting criteria and performance. A hypothetical retrospective of predictive accuracy will be presented as a backdrop for describing lessons-learned from forecast practitioners, culminating in recommendations for how demand forecasting can be improved and better understood.