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Population, Households and Domestic Water Use in Countries of the Mediterranean Middle East (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel)

  • N. Martin
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    This report analyzes the relationship between the increase in domestic water use, population growth and the growth in the number of households in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. The aim was to find if the rate of growth of the number of households could be a more adequate variable to model future domestic water demand than the rate of population growth, as was suggested for energy consumption in a former IIASA study decomposing records of CO2 emissions on a per-person as well as on a per-household basis. Although the analysis of historical data from 1975 to 1994 cannot sufficiently prove that it would be more adequate to relate domestic water use to the household, it seems likely that the decrease in household size will affect future water demand not only due to straightforward household-related economies of scale, but also because a decrease in household size will reduce the effectiveness of investments into technical water-saving measures. Based on population projections for Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza carried out in another IIASA study and on UN population projections for Israel, the development of household sizes from 1994 to 1044 were calculated. The expected shift in the age structure to a higher proportion of the population being in older age groups with higher age-specific headship rates will lead to a strong decrease in household size over the next 50 years even if age-specific headship rates will remain constant. Projections of domestic water demand from 1994 to 2044 were carried out on a per-person and on a per-household basis. Projections based on a per-household approach resulted in up to 75% higher estimates of domestic water demand in 2044 than projections based on a per-person approach, which shows that the expected strong decrease in household size in the countries of the Middle East might have a significant impact on domestic water demand in the future. This should be given some consideration when projecting future demand.

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    Paper provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in its series Working Papers with number ir99032.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:iasawp:ir99032
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