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Report reveals missed opportunities to save water and energy
Date:9/5/2013

. Even California, the only state calling for water managers to mitigate energy use, is still wrestling with regulatory roadblocks. At present, 19 percent of California's electricity and more than 30 percent of the state's natural gas supplies are used in the extraction, conveyance and treatment of water, representing a huge opportunity for energy savings.
  • Assumptions about less carbon-intensive fuels may be invalid. For example, natural gas is often heralded as a better choice than fossil fuels. But little data have been collected to assess the water expended in natural gas extraction methods, nor is there much information on the impact of these methods on water quality.
  • Water and wastewater managers could generate significant renewable energy supplies and bring enhanced grid reliability to states like California. Tools such as energy tariffs and transmission regulations, as well as widespread deployment of innovative treatment processes, could prompt the water sector to dramatically increase its renewable energy capacity with solar, wind, in-conduit hydro and biomass or biogas sources.
  • Among the areas ripe for further research detailed in the report are the water demands of new energy technologies such as fracking, energy savings opportunities from distributed water treatment systems, innovative technologies for extracting energy from wastewater, and market mechanisms for more efficient water trading and transactions.


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  • Contact: Janny Choy
    jmchoy@stanford.edu
    650-724-4178
    Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
    Source:Eurekalert

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