Adaptation of urban water supply infrastructure to impacts from climate and socioeconomic changes: The case of Hamilton, New Zealand

Matthias Ruth*, Clark Bernier, Nigel Jollands, Nancy Golubiewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the relations between climate variables and sectoral water demand have been well established in the literature, few studies have attempted to quantify changes in urban water usage with climate change. Concentrating on the city of Hamilton, New Zealand, we investigate possible water use and infrastructure needs for a range of climate and population projections. We find that water demand (at the monthly aggregate level) is largely driven by changes in population, and not significantly affected by changes in climate. However, as population increases, the effect of climate variables on per capita consumption will be magnified. Monthly aggregate changes may further mask potenially significant short-term shortages. In several scenarios, water supply shortages in 2030 occur with a 30-40% probability, suggesting needs for long-term capacity expansion or aggressive demand side management, rather than implementation of short-term management of water demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1045
Number of pages15
JournalWater resources management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Climate adaptation
  • Infrastructure
  • Regional climate impact
  • Urban water demand
  • Urban water supply

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