C. Arrowsmith, J. Cheruseril

RMIT University, School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, Melbourne, Australia


Water is a limited and an essential resource for living and its importance is understood by all. Water is a scant resource in Australia being the driest of all the inhabited continents.  Many of the river basins in Australia cover only a small area and the rivers that drain them are seasonal.  Climate change coupled with increasing population and a growing economy has put stress on the existing water resources.  In this period of drought the careful consumption of water is of high importance and there is a need to develop new methods to use water wisely.  The state and federal governments have initiated many campaigns over the past decade to reduce water consumption and conserve water. This paper discusses a study that set out to understand and estimate the socio-demographic relationship with water consumption using multivariate analysis techniques and geographic information systems (GIS).


The paper discusses a spatial approach based on multivariate analyses to investigate the spatial patterns of water consumption throughout the metropolitan area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  The approach was seen as an important assessment into the effectiveness of advertising and educational campaigns developed by the Victorian State Government to reduce residential water consumption.  Multivariate techniques were used to develop a spatial model of water consumption based on socio-demographic predictors.  Water consumption was seen to be closely correlated with separate dwellings and increased business counts.  Thematic maps based on socio-demographic variables were used to visualise actual and predicted water consumption for metropolitan Melbourne.