Introduced by Brandon Chou, Djavan De Clercq, Andrew Gonzalez, Charles Li and Rinitha Reddy

Urbanization, one of the prevailing trends of the 21st century, places great stress on the water resources of cities across the globe. This stress is particularly pronounced in China,  a country that has seen rapid urban growth in the past few decades.

This problem prompted a team of UC Berkeley students to begin a  statistical learning project that could aid researchers by providing them with greater insight into urban water supply patterns.

They applied statistical learning methods to 12 years of urban water supply data for 627 cities across China in order to identify the factors most responsible for variance in patterns of urban water distribution and management. For instance, they found that Chinese cities have consistently suffered water loss and leakage rates above 20 percent since 2001, and water prices are closely associated with leakage.

Additionally, developed an urban water sustainability index in order to compare cities. From there they were able to identify the cities and regions in China that face  sustainability issues.

Aside from their research, they also provided a general, systems-level perspective of major urban drinking water use trends in China for the benefit of public-sector stakeholders.