Efforts have been underway for decades to conserve both energy and water, but never in concert. This is unfortunate because energy uses a lot of water and water uses a lot of energy.

Two leading conservation organizations have set out to bring the efforts together. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance for Water Efficiency this week published a white paper that describes the co-dependence of water and energy resources, and outlines strategies to use both more efficiently.

The paper brings to light some interesting – and rarely discussed – ways each resource heightens use of the other.

  • Sourcing, moving, treating, heating, collecting, re-treating, and dispos­ing of water consumes19 percent of California’s electricity, 30 percent of its natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually, according to a 2005 California Energy Commission report.
  • The River Network in 2009 found that energy use for water services accounts for 13 percent of US electricity consumption, at least 520 million megawatt-hours annually.
  • Thermoelectric power accounted for an estimated 49 percent of US water withdrawals and 53 percent of fresh surface-water withdrawals in 2005.

ACEEE and AWE hope to work together on local, state and federal policy to bring more energy efficiency to water use and water efficiency to energy use.  They have some hurdles to overcome. For example, “the water and energy efficiency communities do not share a common language or appreciation of existing efficiency efforts,” the white paper said. “In addition, the two communities frequently operate under different regulatory business models and existing structures that do not recognize the benefits of both energy and water savings.”

The organizations intend to develop approaches that encourage com­munication and guide the industries and their regulators. They hope to share best practices and integrate water efficiency into existing energy efficiency programs and vice versa.

The project looks not only at the big water and energy users like power plants and waste water treatment facilities, but also households. This could prove interesting, as we move increasingly toward whole house automation as a way to increase efficiency and comfort in the home. Home automation has tended, thus far, to focus on energy and telecommunications, with a host of up-and-coming high tech gadgets that make the home a more interesting and more resource-efficient place to live, work and play. If water and energy efficiency merge in the direction described by ACEEE and AWE, will we see a new suite of ‘smart water’ technologies in the smart home? Stay tuned. This could be interesting. Read the white paper here.

Elisa Wood’s white paper, “Exporting US Energy Efficiency,” is available at www.RealEnergyWriters.com

Views: 24

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Paul Scheckel posted a blog post

Renewable Rant: Traditional Energy!

Why, when I open up a newsletter or market evaluation report about “traditional energy” markets, do…See More
20 hours ago
Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker's discussion was featured

Indoor Air Quality Monitors and Meters

I'm considering purchasing the AirAdvice for Homes indoor air quality monitor but it seems to have…See More
21 hours ago
Luis Hernandez's discussion was featured

ERV Configuration

Greetings everyone,     I did an energy audit on this new home that is too tight and needs…See More
21 hours ago
Kim Tanner's discussion was featured
21 hours ago
John Nicholas's discussion was featured

Slab Edge Insulation - A Side Thread to Melissa's Question

Melissa Baldridge inquired about installing slab edge insulation on a potential E-Star certified…See More
21 hours ago
Melissa Baldridge's discussion was featured

ENERGY STAR - Slab Insulation

Folks,Let's say I have a client who's building slab on grade and intending to certify E-STAR.  I'm…See More
21 hours ago
Sean Maxwell's discussion was featured

Blower Door Databases: ATTMA and Retrotec rCloud

Hi guys,We're pushing for blower door testing in the building code here in Australia and we think…See More
21 hours ago
Bob Blanchette's discussion was featured

Real World Ceiling Fan CFM

Has anybody done testing on delivered CFM of ceiling fans? Energy star has a test room where the…See More
21 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service