After California suffered the effects of a four-year drought, the Golden state learned a couple of lessons along the way to boost its water resiliency. Water might be an inorganic compound, but all living organisms on Earth are bound to and reliant on it.
Although the state was just shy of and failed to reach its water conservation goal of 25% in 2015, the decrease in water use led to an unexpected significant decrease in energy use, saving 1, 830 GWh according to a new report from the University of California, Davis. In fact, the electricity savings related to water reductions, over the same period of time, were greater than those achieved by investor-owned electricity utilities’ efficiency programs.
How is this possible? Well, water produces electricity, and not everyone understands this ‘secret’ relationship.
Everyone knows that if you trace power lines far enough, you’ll eventually find a gas, coal, nuclear plant, or even a wind turbine or solar panel. However, not many people know that fossil fuel, biofuel production, nuclear energy and gas extraction or ‘fracking’, require large amounts of water for withdrawal (the act of removing water from the local water source) and consumption (the amount of water that evaporated during the cooling process) to produce electricity. Plus, we need energy to extract, treat, distribute water to our houses and buildings and drain, collect, pump, treat and discharge wastewater.
In California, water transportation, treatment, distribution and end-user consumption account 19% of the total energy demand, according to the report.
One of the simplest ways to save both water and energy is using water efficient technologies. For commercial and residential properties, you can switch inefficient fixtures for aerated faucets, high-efficiency toilets and showerheads that can save you as much as 70 percent of water use. For commercial buildings, high-efficiency fixtures such as Sloan/Falcon’s Hybrid, the best performance and lowest flush urinal in the market can guarantee you water and energy savings.
Decision-makers are rethinking our water resources protection and sanitation based on climatic, demographic and land-use characteristics. However, we are all responsible for finding solutions that sustainable address our needs without further damaging our water supplies. Won’t you take a step forward with us in addressing this need?