Managing a Scarce Resource: DSM in Urban Water Governance

Kahsay Berhe Giday

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Meeting public water supply needs efficiently and sustainably in a rapidly urbanizing world is becoming an immense challenge to governments and utilities. Experience has shown that the supply side management approach to water governance has proven to be inadequate in meeting water demands of urban areas in a sustainable manner and protecting the environment. New water sources are not readily available as before for development. Moreover, environmental constraints, political as well as socio-economic realities have presented new planning scenarios. Water conservation is therefore becoming an imperative. When it comes to meeting urban water demand and ensuring efficient and sustainable use of resources, demand side management is appealing as a complimentary solution and is currently being promoted as an appropriate measure to ensure water use efficiency. This study examines the role of demand side management strategies in achieving water conservation objectives in urban areas and explores how they can help water utilities achieve these objectives and ensure sustainable use of water resources. It explores the usefulness of conservation strategies by undertaking an assessment of an ongoing conservation program in Copenhagen. The empirical analysis aims at investigating primarily whether water conservation has occurred in Copenhagen as a result of demand side management strategies. It also tries to explore the extent to which these measures have been employed and the challenges and constraints faced in the process. The study uses two assessment criteria: reduction in water use and net increase in social welfare; and based on the analysis asserts that DSM measures have been successful in Copenhagen in terms of reduction in water abstraction and consumption. It however argues that the price-measures have played the major role in achieving reduction in water consumption. The study concludes by stating that there is significant potential in the demand side management approach as a complimentary effort to the supply side management to ensure adequate supply of water to urban areas in a sustainable way.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2006
VejledereBo Elling & Neils Schrøder


  • Demand Side Management, Water Scarcity, Water management, Water conservation, Water Demand Management