First Advisor

Kenneth Dueker

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Urban planning, Area planning & development, Water use -- Oregon -- Case studies



Physical Description

2, vii, 154 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


There are two approaches to estimating the quantity of water required in an urban area: the requirements approach and the economic approach. The requirements approach extrapolates from past growth trends of the urban area. Water consumption and population are extrapolated into the future using a trend line based on prior years; the future requirements of the area are determined according to past experience. This approach served well when water was essentially a free good. But now that it is an economic good that requires production, the requirements approach tends to overestimate water requirements. The alternative is the economic approach which takes into account different characteristics of an urban area. Among these characteristics are economic, demographic, geographic and climatic. This approach leads to better use of information to estimate future water consumption. This dissertation is a cross-sectional analysis of municipal water districts in Oregon. It is based on the economic approach. Data on specified variables were collected by sampling and surveying more than 1,000 water districts in Oregon. The data were analyzed using Multiple Linear Regression. The general hypothesis of the study is that municipal water use in Oregon can be estimated by using independent variables other than size. Weather, per capita income, average price of water, marginal cost of water, the amount of fixed charge for basic water use, allowed quantity of basic water use, and non-residential connections were regressed on the per capita per day water consumption for residential, commercial, industrial and total users. The hypothesis was confirmed; price was a significant variable in the different uses of water. Climate was found to be significant in estimating the residential use. Variable charge as well as climate were found to be significant in commercial use. Fixed charge and sewage charge were somewhat significant in estimating the industrial use. The results of the study are consistent with the theory and the findings of previous studies. Three models were developed; a general model, a residential model and a non-residential model. These models helped to identify climate and price as effective variables in estimating water demand in the study area within the context of the economic approach.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


Portland State University. School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Persistent Identifier