Predicting and Understanding Urban Outdoor Water Use in a Desert City — A Case Study of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona

Authors: Chuyuan Wang*, Arizona State University, Soe W. Myint, Arizona State University, Zhihua Wang, Arizona State University, David M. Hondula, Arizona State University, Anthony J. Brazel, Arizona State University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Water Resources and Hydrology, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: outdoor water use, desert city, METRIC model, land use land cover, socio-demographic variables
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8228, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The purpose of this study is to model, predict and understand outdoor water use (OWU) and the relationships with urban land use land cover types and socio-demographic variables for a desert city using the Phoenix metropolitan area (PMA) as the case study. OWU was modeled using time-series Landsat 5 TM imagery in 2010 and a surface energy balance model named METRIC. Results suggest that all the vegetation land cover types have significant positive contributions to urban OWU, while impervious surfaces and open soils show negative relationships. For urban land use types, parks and mesic residential areas consumed the largest amount of OWU, while business/commercial and xeric residential areas used the least amount. In general, OWU of all the urban land use types followed the same temporal trend within a year, reached peak in June, and then declined to the lowest levels in December. Socio-demographic variables that have statistically significant influences on OWU include percentage of population that has a Bachelor’s degree or higher, percentage of family houses, median household income, house occupancy rate, percentage of houses lived by owners, percentage of houses lived by renters, and median housing value. This study provides a basic guidance to urban planners and city managers to formulate new or to develop better water use policies to conserve water resource for a desert city.

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