عنوان مقاله [English]
With the rapid increase in urban population across the world, meeting the goals of sustainable development in terms of securing water, food, and energy is considered as one of the biggest challenges encountered by humanity (UN,2014; Van Ham,2016). ).The issue of water shortage in Iran due to its location in the arid Middle East on the one hand and the relatively rapid growth in urban population as well as increasing per capita consumption and industrial development around cities on the other hand are also getting more serious every day so that today’s large cities are struggling to meet demands for urban water (Bustani and Ansari, 2011).
Although the city of Isfahan is located along Zayandehrood river as one of the permanent rivers carrying large volume of water in central Iran, the position of the city in terms of placement in an arid region, population growth and immigration to this city, development of water-intensive industries (steel, petrochemicals, and so on), drinking water consumption higher than the standard rate, low efficiency of water use in agricultural sector, impact of excessive exploitation of underground resources, overuse of grass for urban green space and problems in water management are among the factors affecting water shortages in the city of Isfahan . Consecutive bone-dryness of Zayandehrood River in recent years has also become one of the regional issues in Iran and it has also exacerbated water crisis within this city. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze the spatial pattern of household water consumption in the city of Isfahan and to identify and analyze the factors affecting water use in this city.The results of this research study could provide the grounds for residential water demand management in the city of Isfahan. The results of this research study could provide the grounds for residential water demand management in the city of Isfahan.
The research method in this study was of descriptive-analytic type. The required data in the present study were collected through documents (statistics from Isfahan Water and Wastewater Company) and field method (questionnaire). The statistical population included all household subscribers (residential use) within the city of Isfahan. The sample size estimated via Cochran’s formula was equal to 398 subscribers. The monthly statistics regarding water consumption by the subscribers of the city of Isfahan obtained from Isfahan Water and Wastewater Company were also divided into five consumer groups with a similar pattern of water use, then an output map for the subscribers with similar pattern of water consumption by using Cluster Analysis Technique via Spatial Hot Spot Analysis was provided with the ArcGIS Software.
The data obtained through the questionnaire that included information about household subscribers in the city of Isfahan as well as data about consumption rate of subscribers in Isfahan Water and Wastewater Company were entered into the SPSS Software and then analyzed via multivariate regression and correlation (path analysis).
Results and Discussion
The main purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between cultural, social, and economic characteristics of residents and their patterns of water use. To investigate the given relationship, correlation coefficient and multivariate regression analysis (path analysis) were used.Considering the factors affecting household water consumption,, the results of correlation tests and path analysis in multivariate regression revealed that the five variables could directly and significantly affect the dependent variable. The given variables included family monthly income, family size, number of residential units in a building, age of building, and sense of responsibility in saving water. In addition, a number of variables could indirectly affect household water use through the mediation of the variables in the first group including level of education of household head, age of household head, building area, type of housing ownership, duration of residence in a neighborhood, and type of housing (villas or apartments). Of the aforementioned variables, level of education of household head and type of housing had negative effects on the variable of number of family members and number of residential units, respectively. Among the other variables, the effects of independent variables on the mediating dependent variables were reported positive.
Based on the results of this study, there are some strategies recommended for household water demand management including cultural measures as the most important and fundamental method. In Iranian families, women play a decisive role in the sociocultural structure of the family. For this reason, mothers can have effects on the formation of culture, social behavior, and emotions since they have the most frequent presence among children and have more communications with them better than anyone else. In this regard, the positive and effective role of mothers requires knowledge and awareness of various cultural, social, and economic fields which can be met when mothers boost their awareness of issues and problems within society through education and active presence. Since 84% of women questioned as the study samples were housewives, and 40% of respondents in terms of water consumption introduced the member of families with high consumption as women and especially mothers, planners and managers can pay more attention to giving information and awareness to women in terms of water consumption and thus have a significant role in reducing domestic water use.
Among the other effective measures to save and reduce household water consumption were reducing acceptable level of water consumption by conventional tariffs, separating water meters of households in apartments, establishing partnerships between subscribers and directors and officials of water supply and distribution, producing TV programs especially for water crisis and optimized domestic water use, and also having more cooperation between relevant organizations in charge of the issue of urban water.
Keywords: Isfahan, Municipal Water Use, Domestic Water use, Urban Water Use Management, Urban Water Demand Management