Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Jeffery S. Horsburgh


Jeffery S. Horsburgh


David Rosenberg


David K. Stevens


Ruijie Zeng


Sarah Null


Urbanization, climate change, aging infrastructure, and the cost of delivering water to residential customers make it vital that we achieve a higher efficiency in the management of urban water resources. Understanding how water is used at the household level is vital for this objective.Water meters measure water use for billing purposes, commonly at a monthly, or coarser temporal resolutions. This is insufficient to understand where water is used (i.e., the distribution of water use across different fixtures like toilets, showers, outdoor irrigation), when water is used (i.e., identifying peaks of consumption, instantaneous or at hourly, daily, weekly intervals), the efficiency of water using fixtures, or water use behaviors across different households. Most smart meters available today are not capable of collecting data at the temporal resolutions needed to fully characterize residential water use, and managing this data represents a challenge given the rapidly increasing volume of data generated. The research in this dissertation presents low cost, open source cyberinfrastructure (datalogging and data management systems) to collect and manage high temporal resolution, residential water use data. Performance testing of the cyberinfrastructure demonstrated the scalability of the system to multiple hundreds of simultaneous data collection devices. Using this cyberinfrastructure, we conducted a case study application in the cities of Logan and Providence, Utah where we found significant variability in the temporal distribution, timing, and volumes of indoor water use. This variability can impact the design of water conservation programs, estimations and forecast of water demand, and sizing of future water infrastructure. Outdoor water use was the largest component of residential water use, yet homeowners were not significantly overwatering their landscapes. Opportunities to improve the efficiency of water using fixtures and to conserve water by promoting behavior changes exist among participants.