WatPop: understanding seasonal population change using water meter data

WatPop: understanding seasonal population change using water meter data

 

This research will use high temporal resolution water metering data to identify small-area and dwelling level short term seasonal population fluctuation driven by tourism. Although extremely valuable, the census-based decennial enumeration of residential populations does not attempt to capture these short term seasonal fluctuations in non-residential populations. Utilising data provided by the regional statutory water authority South West Water (SWW), the project will make use of small-area and household level indicators of water supply to infer seasonal population fluctuations driven by tourism at the neighbourhood and dwelling level. These data, which are routinely collected by water authorities and which are non-sensitive and non-personally identifiable could have tremendous potential as an indicator of these population fluctuations.

Novel smart-meter derived household water consumption data are used in the water industry to capture recorded water usage associated with different dwelling and area types. We seek to use these data to infer periods of tourism-driven dwelling occupancy associated with second homes and self-catering holiday lets. There is very little existing research into the stock of dwellings used as self-catering accommodation or their seasonal occupancy and usage. This project aims to demonstrate the potential value of water supply data as a tool to support the identification of residential dwellings used primarily as a holiday rental property or second home and to understand their seasonal occupancy patterns.

 

Project Aims:

  • Infer dwellings which are primarily used as tourist accommodation utilising their long-term water consumption record.
  • Develop a methodology to infer periods of occupancy for tourist dwellings based on high temporal resolution water consumption.
  • Determine the optimal temporal resolution of the dwelling-level water meter data required to achieve aim 2.