Author(s): Ruddell DM, Dixon PG
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Abstract Water scarcity, energy consumption, and air temperature regulation are three critical resource and environmental challenges linked to urban population growth. While appliance efficiency continues to increase, today's homes are larger and residents are using more energy-consuming devices. Recent research has often described the energy-water nexus as a "tradeoff" between energy and water due to reduced temperatures resulting from irrigated vegetation. Accordingly, some arid cities have implemented landscape-conversion programs that encourage homeowners to convert their yards from grass (mesic) to drought-tolerant (xeric) landscapes to help conserve water resources. We investigated these relationships in Phoenix, Arizona by examining energy and water data for the summer months of June-September 2005 while temperature variability was analyzed from a local heat wave. Results show parallel consumption patterns with energy and water use strongly correlated and newer homes using more of both. The counterintuitive findings show that "drought-resistant" models may not be beneficial for community health, environment, or economics and that this issue is further complicated by socio-economic variables.
This article was published in Int J Biometeorol
and referenced in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development