Coronavirus Lockdown Caused Dramatic Changes in Water Consumption, Research Finds


New research has found that the coronavirus lockdown led to dramatic changes in water consumption in England and Wales, and that some of these are likely to continue even after the pandemic.

In conjunction with Artesia, a team from The University of Manchester’s Department of Geography and the Sustainable Consumption Institute led by Cecilia Alda Vidal examined water use in both indoor and outdoor domestic spaces, focusing on changes in personal routines and schedules, ways of spending free time, hygiene, and the implications these hold for household water consumption at present as well as predictions for the future.

The research involved evidence of changes in water demand, an assessment of news articles, reports and journal articles, and online focus group discussions with members of the public.

They found that people having to work from home has relocated water consumption from public spaces such as offices and gyms to the home. In addition, peak times of water use have changed, as people have more flexible schedules, water-intensive routines such as showering are undertaken at different times throughout the day instead of first thing in the morning before commuting to their workplaces.

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