Drinking water temperature around the globe: Understanding, policies, challenges and opportunities

Claudia Agudelo-Vera*, Stefania Avvedimento, Joby Boxall, Enrico Creaco, Henk de Kater, Armando Di Nardo, Aleksandar Djukic, Zoran Kapelan, Mirjam Blokker, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Water temperature is often monitored at water sources and treatment works; however, there is limited monitoring of the water temperature in the drinking water distribution system (DWDS), despite a known impact on physical, chemical and microbial reactions which impact water quality. A key parameter influencing drinking water temperature is soil temperature, which is influenced by the urban heat island effects. This paper provides critique and comprehensive summary of the current knowledge, policies and challenges regarding drinking water temperature research and presents the findings from a survey of international stakeholders. Knowledge gaps as well as challenges and opportunities for monitoring and research are identified. The conclusion of the study is that temperature in the DWDS is an emerging concern in various countries regardless of the water source and treatment, climate conditions, or network characteristics such as topology, pipe material or diameter. More research is needed, especially to determine (i) the effect of higher temperatures, (ii) a legislative limit on temperature and (iii) measures to comply with this limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1049
Number of pages19
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Climate change
  • Shallow underground
  • Subsurface urban heat island
  • Tap water temperature
  • Underground hotspots
  • Water quality and safety


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