Changing Water Use Under COVID-19: Understanding Changes in the Anglian Water Region

Natalie Clarke, Ruby Smith, Cecilia Alda-Vidal, Claire Hoolohan, Alison L Browne

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In March 2020, a lockdown was introduced to control the spread of COVID-19. The UK public were advised to stay at home as much as possible, schools and workplaces were closed and people were only permitted to travel for essential activities such as food shopping, medical appointments and physical activity. Lockdown coincided with a prolonged period of hot weather, and the combination of these factors have contributed to soaring domestic water use. Overall, during spring/summer 2020 Anglian Water have witnessed some of the biggest peaks in water demand that have ever been observed within their region.
This study aims to understand how the lockdown affected water use in the Anglian Water region. A practice-based approach is applied to understand observed changes in routine, to contextualise these changes in relation to broader disjuncture in everyday life during this period, and to provide insight into how the water sector can influence more sustainable household practices in the context of a changing climate and other future uncertainties.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester, UK
PublisherUniversity of Manchester
Commissioning bodyAnglian Water Services Ltd
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • water demand
  • everyday practices
  • COVID19
  • peak water demand

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Consumption Institute
  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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