Project report: Impact of the pandemic & lockdown on food, water, and energy consumption

Last year, students of the B.Sc. (Economics) program at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics worked on a project under the Food Water Energy for Urban Sustainable Environments (FUSE) program at Stanford Earth (School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences) at Stanford University.

The idea was to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions and the lockdown on the consumption of food, water and energy in the western metropolitan city of Pune, home to about four million citizens.

We are happy to announce that the report of the project and its findings have been published by FUSE, Stanford Earth.

Access the full report here.

The report, titled “Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and the Lockdown on the Consumption of Food, Water and Energy Resources in Pune City,” was written by Ananya Mehrotra, Jayati Sharma, and Shashank Patil. Gandhar Joshi and Jahnavi Angal were the project leaders. Faculty members Dr Ashish Kulkarni and Ms Saylee Jog mentored the students throughout the project, which involved contributions from 14 students apart from the writers and project leaders.

The report is based on a survey of 194 households in Pune city that were interviewed between July and August 2021. The project primarily focused on establishing the impact of COVID-19 on access to food, water and energy resources for households belonging to different income groups.

Respondents shared the changed realities of their incomes from existing jobs, job losses, changes in food and dietary habits, and even reduction in food intake in some cases. On the other hand, most households reported an increase in electricity consumed at home. The preference for white goods such as the air conditioner, and the patterns of using laptops, too, changed.