Evaluating Municipal Water Conservation Policies Using a Dynamic Simulation Model

Document Type



A dynamic simulation model is developed for South Florida to capture the interrelationships between water availability and competing municipal, agricultural, and environmental water demands. This paper presents the model structure and findings related to municipal water demand and potential for water conservation. The policies of introducing low flow appliances, xeriscaping, and pricing are tested for their effectiveness in reducing municipal water demand. Performance criteria of reliability, resilience, and vulnerability are used to measure the success of policies. Policies are also evaluated for their impact on environmental flow requirements. The model is calibrated using data from 1975 to 2005 for population growth, municipal water demand, and water levels in Lake Okeechobee; and simulations are carried out from 2005 to 2030 on a monthly time step. Sensitivity analysis is performed and extreme condition tests are conducted to evaluate the robustness of the model. The status-quo (defined as no changes in the current water use patterns) simulations show a reduction in environmental flows after 2010 leading to an increase in the number of minimum flow level violations. Policies tested show potential for a reduction in municipal demand and for improvement in environmental flows.


Computer simulation; Florida; Low flow appliances; Municipal water demand; Pricing; South Florida; System dynamics; Water – Price; Water conservation; Water consumption; Water demand management; Xeriscaping


Environmental Engineering | Environmental Policy | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management


The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

UNLV article access

Search your library