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DPE Tuesday Talk Series: Mehdi Nemati, “Heterogeneous Effects of High-Frequency Consumption Analytics on Residential Water Consumption”

The Division of Politics and Economics invites the CGU community to attend this week’s Tuesday Lunch Talk featuring Mehdi Nemati, assistant professor and cooperative extension specialist in water resource economics and policy in the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside. Lunch will be provided.

Mehdi Nemati

Mehdi Nemati provides leadership throughout the state to develop mission-oriented research programs among colleagues and universities. He facilitates teamwork among government agencies, stakeholder groups, and private industry with a focus on promoting sustainable and cost-effective strategies for addressing water-related issues, such as water scarcity/drought. His policy-oriented research and extension program focuses on economic issues associated with urban/municipal water use and water conservation programs, including alternative pricing structures (e.g., budget-based tiered rates and drought pricing), and rebate programs (e.g., turf grass removal); direct and indirect potable water reuse; design of enforcement and monitoring strategies; incentives for the adoption of conservation practices and technologies.

Talk Title: Heterogeneous Effects of High-Frequency Consumption Analytics on Residential Water Consumption


This presentation estimates how web-based Home Water Use Reports (HWURs) affect household-level water consumption in Folsom City, California. The HWURs under study, offered by the company Dropcountr (DC), share social comparisons, consumption analytics, and conservation information to residential accounts, primarily through digital communications. The data utilized in this presentation is a daily panel dataset that tracks single-family residential households from January-2013 to May-2017. Nemati found that there is a 7.3% reduction in average daily household water consumption for a typical household who enrolled in the DC program. Results suggest that the effect of DC varies by the baseline consumption quintile, the day of the week, and the content of the message. Nemati finds evidence that leak alerts are effective in reducing the consumption immediately following the alert.