Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Future Water Demand using Weather Data

Diana Fiorillo*, Zoran Kapelan, Maria Xenochristou, Francesco De Paola, Maurizio Giugni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Assessing the impact of climate change on water demand is a challenging task. This paper proposes a novel methodology that quantifies this impact by establishing a link between water demand and weather based on climate change scenarios, via Coupled General Circulation Models. These models simulate the response of the global climate system to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations by reproducing atmospheric and ocean processes. In order to establish the link between water demand and weather, Random Forest models based on weather variables were used. This methodology was applied to a district metered area in Naples (Italy). Results demonstrate that the total district water demand may increase by 9–10% during the weeks with the highest temperatures. Furthermore, results show that the increase in water demand changes depending on the social characteristics of the users. The water demand of employed users with high education may increase by 13–15% when the highest temperatures occur. These increases can seriously affect the capacity and operation of existing water systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1462
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Climate change
  • Smart meters
  • Water demand
  • Water distribution network


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