IMDEA Water Institute

Tool for analysing and forecasting demand and prices for urban use water services

Posted by IMDEA Water InstituteResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Spain

Summary of the technology

Water planning tradicionally used to apply hydrological models to determine the demand for water services based on forecasts of future supply needs and population growth. The supply needs parameter used to be estimated in terms of growth compared to the current situation at the time, which encouraged policies of increasing water supplies and catchment infrastructures.
However, the demand for water services depends on a series of globally interrelated variables: Population growth or increasing numbers of water service users, higher earnings or economic activity, water service price levels and the degree of technical efficiency in water use or changes in user behaviour.

IMDEA Water Institute
IMDEA Water Institute

Description of the technology

IMDEA WATER SOLUTIONS-University of Alcalá: WaTaPro (Water Tariffs Prospective) model

The WaTaPro model is a management tool for analysing demand for water services for urban use, and the corresponding tariffs. It is based on a simulation that aims to optimise financial cost-revenue flows, depending on the behavior of certain variables.

The tool consists of two parts:

  1. Situation summary (Figure 1) , where we define the main parameters and assumptions used to make the simulation calculations, taking into account the recovery of investment, running, maintenance and preservation costs, as well as the structure and tariff levels. The scenarios also consider parameters such as “Social discount rate” and “Technological change rate”, which must be set prior to calculation.
  2. Results (Figure 2) -after calculation, the outcomes are generated by user typology. The development of the rated items (service fees and consumption quotas by section) is presented for each year within the simulation horizon, along with the number of users and the volume billed.


This tool is useful for water management companies (suppliers), being applicable to:

  • Water pricing systems
  • Decision-making support systems
  • Economic modelling
  • Prioritisation of water management investments
  • Hydroeconomic analysis

Related keywords

  • water
  • demand analysis
  • decision support systems
  • water pricing
  • water tariffs prospective

About IMDEA Water Institute

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

IMDEA Water, a research Institute focused on water management issues, is directed towards optimizing public and private decision-making processes, emphasizing on the link between water, public services, the economy and institutions. The scientific program of the Institute is based on the development of strategic lines for the integrated water management: management of sustainable bodies of water, quality pollution, water treatment and reuse and economic and institutional analysis.
The institute is equipped with high-level up-to-date specialized laboratories as: water, soils, geomatic, ecotoxicology and water biology labs, and pilot plants (mesocosms, microbial electrochemical technologies, land application systems and membranes technologies) for conducting the research activities.

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