Scientific accompanying of the 2021 survey on water consumption in Hamburg

In June 2021, HAMBURG WASSER conducted a study on water consumption and presented its results to the public at a press conference end of July. The objective of the study was to obtain a more detailed picture of water use behaviour in households in the Hamburg urban area. ISOE was assigned to provide scientific support for the implementation of the study and to place its results in a broader, scientific context.

Research approach

The study on water consumption aims to gain a better understanding of the behavioural patterns related to water use. In addition to the questioning of consumers on general water saving and technical factors, the dynamics of change in water consumption are addressed, also with a view to the COVID-19 pandemic with its potentially longer-term after-effects.

During the implementation of the study, ISOE had an advisory role and complemented and consolidated the survey contents and their design in a joint reflection in order to create an increased added value for the understanding of household consumption behaviour by means of the scientific perspective. This will benefit future water demand prognoses and, as part of an accompanying analysis, will allow for an improved evaluation and placement of the results in a broader, scientific context.


The security of supply of drinking water is a particular focus of attention for water utilities in view of the increased occurrence of dry periods and uncertainties in the future development of water demand. In order to be able to better manage the tension between water supply and water demand and to expand the scope for action on the demand side, a better understanding of water use is necessary. In this context, an in-depth study on water consumption allows to identify levers for strengthening a demand-oriented communication and management strategy. It also offers support to authorities and housing associations in their decision-making processes towards rational water use (e.g. promotion of rainwater collection or water-saving sanitary products), and ultimately helps to provide water demand prognoses with an improved base for up-to-date scenarios.


The scientifically accompanied consultation and evaluation of the Water Consumption Study 2021 by HAMBURG WASSER is carried out on behalf of Hamburger Wasserwerke GmbH.


Liehr, Stefan/Deike U. Lüdtke (2021): Hamburger Wasserverbrauchsstudie 2021 - Begleit-Analyse der Ergebnisse. Hamburg Wasser


2021/06 – 2021/07