H2bid Blog


With the world shutting down for the majority of 2020, it is interesting to look at the patterns of water consumption. With an emphasis placed on washing your hands and a lot of businesses being shut down, the changes in water consumption are similar to what you would expect.

According to a study conducted by Raftelis and Duke University, when it came to non-residential facilities, many of them saw a decline in water usage of up to 19%. Non-residential billed revenue was up 8% in April 2020 compared to the last three years. This is not too surprising given that most non-residential areas were closed and there was not nearly as many people around using the water.

On an even less surprising note, residential consumption was reported to have increased by 14% in April 2020 compared to the last three years. This can be associated to a lot of reasons including that people were home a lot more often than usual, using a lot more water than normal, as well as the increased emphasis on washing your hands more often.

According to >research done by the University of North Carolina, in March 25, 2020, five states including Puerto Rico suspended cutting off water to customers who were unable to pay their water bills due to the pandemic. 14 other states had similar suspensions to help people have access to such a crucial resource during an incredibly difficult time. All utilities handled the late payments differently with some completely waving fees and others reducing them or allowing them to be paid overtime.

During the pandemic we saw how valuable water truly is especially when it comes to slowing the spread. Many utility companies took action to help people have access to water and to be able to afford their increase of water usage.

A lot of these utility companies are taking a large hit from many people working from home. According to the same study, “USGS estimated that, in 2015, 40% of all water delivered by public water systems nationwide went to other uses besides residential: this includes commercial, institutional and industrial uses as well as other uses and water losses.” With many nonresidential businesses and institutions shut down, they were not getting a lot of revenue from these sources.

As we see the world continue to change and recover from this pandemic, it will be interesting to see the impacts on water consumption. With many businesses finally opening back up and others finding ways to work from home permanently, changes in water consumption will continue until we find our new normal.