Assessing the impact of Sars-CoV-2 on water consumption in São Paulo State, Brazil
The pandemic caused by Sars-CoV-2 in 2020 led to a significant change in behaviors, mainly because of the quarantine to avoid the spread of the virus. Measures affected both economic activities and citizens´ behaviors as they developed more intense hygiene habits to avoid contamination and switched to home office. These exceptional behaviors also affect the way that water is consumed and need to be fully understood to manage supply systems. Therefore, this study aims to investigate changes in residential and commercial water consumption in 31 municipalities in the State of São Paulo during the Sars-CoV-2. To do this, the expected consumption for 2020 was forecasted using the Holt-Winters Multiplicative method and compared to the data observed for the same period. In addition, we compared monthly records of new contaminations to establish a comparison between the number of infections and changes in water consumption. The results show an average difference between forecasted and observed consumption equal to + 6.23% and -18.59% for residential and commercial activities, respectively. For residential consumption, consumption per capita increased at the rate of 8.44 L.person-1.day-1. The changes in consumption seem to be a consequence of hygiene habits, social distancing and the closing of non-essential services in commerce.