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Melbourne Residential Water Use Studies (2013)

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This document is a summary of the results of two major studies in residential water use undertaken by water retailers within metropolitan Melbourne. The first is a sampling survey of water using appliance stock and usage pattern in 2012. The second consists of the measurement of the flow rates of individual end uses to a high resolution for a sample of customers in 2010 and 2012. The appliance survey relied primarily on self-reports for usage behaviours from large, statistically valid samples. The end use measurement study monitored actual flow rates, timings and frequencies of appliance usage amongst a small sample of customers.

Both studies were undertaken by Melbourne’s water retailers for their specific customers and individual reports were published. Following this, the data was pooled and re-analysed and the results consolidated into two metropolitan wide reports. This report is a summary of the key findings of the two metropolitan reports. All these reports are listed in the References section of this document.

Melbourne’s Water Retailers

Melbourne’s three water retailers—City West Water (CWW), South East Water (SEW) and Yarra Valley Water (YVW)—purchase bulk water from Melbourne Water for direct sale to customers within their designated licence areas. In 2012, they provide water and sewerage services to around 4.2 million persons in 1.6 million homes and 153,000 businesses.

YVW services about 41% of residential homes within metropolitan Melbourne while SEW and CWW services 38% and 21% respectively. Figure 1 shows the licence area for each water retailer.