Quantitative Analysis of Correlation between US Army Installation Characteristics and Water Price

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This study applied statistical approaches (e.g., Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, regression tree analyses) to characterize Army site-specific factors (e.g., water demand, installation size, climate zone, Army mission type, utility privatization, water source, population, installation status on mission capacity) correlated with Army installation water unit price (USD Kgal-1). The results from Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient for individual factors showed that annual water consumption, size of installation, and population were the major influencing factors (positive correlation) to annual water billed. For Army installation water unit prices, however, negative correlation with annual water consumption and less significant correlation with climate zone were observed. This could lead to a failure in promoting water conservation in water-stressed areas with limited water supplies. From the results of regression tree analyses with combination of characterized variables, installation mission type, type of primary water source, and assured access to water were statistically significant factors to Army installation water unit prices. The regression trees provided coarser but actionable insights while clustering water unit prices by the influencing factors. The results of this study support site-specific reconsideration of water pricing and further development of installation water security and resiliency through deeper understanding of factors correlated with installation water unit price. Also, this research adds to existing studies on water infrastructure system characteristics, specialized use cases and water price across scales and locations at the United States.


The article appears in the January 2024 issue, as fully cited below. It was published online in October 2023.

This article is published by ASCE and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Funding note: This research was funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment.

Source Publication

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management