Paul Graves, P.E.
This one-hour online course provides an introduction to methods of projecting population growth or decline. Future population size is a key parameter in designing facilities such as domestic water and wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills.
This course includes
a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding
of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
In designing facilities such as public water treatment plants, domestic wastewater treatment plants, and municipal solid waste landfills, engineers generally rely on typical rates of water use, wastewater generation, and solid waste generation. Some common rates in the U.S. are 150 gallons per day per capita (gpdc), 100 gpdc, and 4 pounds per day per capita, respectively.
A common denominator in these rates is "per capita", that is, "per person". Hence, in order to design these types of facilities one must estimate the total number of capita to be served. Furthermore, because these types of facilities are typically designed to serve a geographic area for decades, the designer must make use of population projections, whether available from other sources or prepared by the design team.
This course provides
an overview of population projection techniques, including mathematical and
graphical methods. Data sources and other considerations are addressed to provide
an understanding of the uncertainties involved and a basis for evaluating trends.
The introduction and the course content are in a PDF file (4882 KB) Population Projections. You need to open or download this document to study this course.
A number of techniques
are available for projecting future population changes. Simple approaches as
described above are commonly used by engineers to estimate the future population
of a given area as necessary for designing certain public facilities. Even when
the population projection is available from others, it is important for engineers
to consider the uncertainty in the estimate. The amount of uncertainty should
be reflected in the range of potential future populations considered in the
Population data is available from numerous agencies and other sources. Selected references are provided at the links below. Additional information may be found by performing an Internet search.
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.