Utility System Demand Forecasting Using Land Use Coefficients

by William B. Zieburtz, Jr., CH2M Hill, Atlanta, United States,
Kip K. Duchon, CH2M Hill, Atlanta, United States,
Gary A. Cornell, CH2M Hill, Atlanta, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


In rapidly changing areas where several divergent paths of future growth are possible, there are advantages to forecasting future water demands and wastewater flows using the water and wastewater demand characteristics of land use categories, in preference to using population or customer class projections or other forms of utility demand modeling. This approach has been used in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburban community in the eastern part of metropolitan Atlanta that has been one of the fastest growing counties in the nation over the past decade. Existing land uses were inventoried, and the data were enumerated into eight principal drainage basins and 155 planning units. Historical water demands and wastewater flows were correlated with existing land use data for each of several planning areas by matching utility customer classes to land use categories. After adjusting for infiltration and inflow and water consumption not returned to the sewer system, coefficients describing the utility characteristics of each existing land use category were calculated. The calculated utility coefficients were then applied to three alternative future development scenarios (low, medium, and high density), and utility demands for each scenario were forecast. The primary benefits of this approach are the ability to more accurately characterize future conditions; provision of more specific information on the location of future demands for preliminary system planning; encouragement of a comprehensive land use planning effort; increased accuracy of preliminary cost estimates; ease of updates based on changes in the County's land use plan; and encouragement of closer communication between local planning and utilities departments.

Subject Headings: Land use | Utilities | Forecasting | Water demand | Wastewater management | Model accuracy | Mathematical models | Water use | Georgia | United States | Atlanta

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