First Advisor

Heejun Chang

Date of Publication

Winter 3-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Water consumption -- Oregon -- Portland, Single family housing -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 71 pages)


With growing urban populations and increasing concerns over the effects of climate change on water supplies, there has recently been a significant amount of interdisciplinary research focused on identifying the drivers of urban water use. Due to unavailability of individual or household level data, these studies are often limited to using spatially aggregated data. There is concern that this aggregation of data may be leading to misrepresentations of the drivers of urban water use, yet there have been few studies that have addressed this concern. As in all spatial quantitative analyses, studies in this area should consider how the spatial scales chosen for analysis are affecting the results. The purpose of this research is to use a case study of single-family residential (SFR) water use in Portland, Oregon to determine the extent to which scale variation significantly affects the patterns of SFR water use, and whether household scale water use is influenced by neighborhood and census tract characteristics. The results of this analysis provide evidence that aggregating household scale water use data can mask meaningful patterns in SFR water use and potentially provide misleading information on what is influencing water use habits. This research also shows that using the chosen exploratory variables, there is a statistically significant, but not substantial, cross-scale influence on household scale water use by neighborhood and census tract characteristics.


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