WP 1 – Water supply and water demand

WP 1 aims to establish a baseline of water availability and to identify the main drivers of water demand.

The analysis of water availability, under current and future scenarios, requires an in-depth understanding of the water supply system in each of the case studies. In the case of Rimini, the Ridracoli reservoir plays a pivotal role; therefore, its behavior needs to be simulated with a mathematical model in order to understand current and future water availability scenarios. Groundwater well fields is the other water source for Rimini. For this source, historical withdrawal volumes, as well as information on their possible evolution within the next decades will be collected from water suppliers and from existing studies.

In the case of Benidorm, where the water supply system is very complex and its sources changed radically during the last decade, we depend on secondary data and analyses, providing aggregated values for the available water volumes, since the available data does not allow the setup of a detailed water resource system model. Fortunately, given the highly developed water arrangements that are in place, the water system is well-understood and statistics about it are abundant.

Urban water demand is guided by complex interactions between the human and the natural system at multiple spatial and temporal scales; therefore, understanding the dominant drivers is a necessary prerequisite for improving the demand models. Accounting for intra-annual variations in demand is crucial, given the strong seasonality of tourism in the Mediterranean region. We will study the effect of tourist fluxes on annual and intra-annual urban water consumption for the two case study areas. The first step of the analysis consists of setting up a database containing time-series of measures of water consumption, as well as climatic and tourism variables. Water consumption data will first be collected and analyzed at annual scale for a large number of users. A pilot set of smart meters will then be installed in Rimini, in order to monitor some representative water users. These meters will provide insights into the consumption patterns of the main user typologies (hotels, holiday homes, bathing establishments, restaurants, etc.) at sub-annual scale (monthly, daily and possibly sub-daily), which are currently unavailable in Rimini. For Benidorm, the measurements of water demand that are available at annual and finer resolution will be collected from the water suppliers. In case no fine measurements are available, information on the daily patterns may be inferred from smart-meter campaigns in nearby cities (e.g. Alicante).

The causal analysis (correlation) between water demand and the predictions which vary stationally, will identify the most influential variables in water consumption patterns. These variables will then feed different modelling focus (linear and non-linear), in order to estimate and predict urban water demand of individual end-users, and also aggregated to district/city level.