Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geography and Environmental Resources

First Advisor

Dziegielewski, Ben

Abstract

The potential impacts of global climate change present an uncertainty about public water supplies. This thesis project examines the per capita residential water use in the municipal water supply systems of the East-Central and Northeast regions of Illinois for differences in water usage rates (gallons per capita per day). Key predictors of residential water demand are also examined. Statistical tests and regression analyses were used to analyze water usage rates. Regression analyses for the year 2000 data were performed to determine the significance of the factors of median household income, percent of multi-family homes, precipitation, temperature, and percent of homes built after 1995 on residential water demand in the two study regions. T-tests were performed to test for a significant difference between the mean usage rates in gallons per capita per day in the two regions. The t-tests resulted in a significant difference in per capita residential water use between East-Central and Northeast Illinois with the Northeast having a higher GPCD. The exact amount of this difference, however, cannot be strongly concluded. The regression analysis showed no predictors that significantly affected per capita residential water demand in the East-Central and showed income to significantly influence water demand in the Northeast region. Decreasing trends of per capita residential water use were discovered for each region from 1990 through 2005. This could potentially be attributed to percent of new homes and the 1992 Energy Policy Act. Water resource managers in Illinois can use these results to aid in effective water resource management in the future for the two study regions.

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