NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: THE ELECTRICITY USED TO GET WATER

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

December 7, 1941: Time to forgive but not forget.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 1:

  • TTTA Thursday-First Daughter Ivanka May Fight For Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Low Profile High Power Ocean Wind Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-A Visionary Solar Power Plant
  • TTTA Thursday-EVs Have A Growth Path
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How The Clean Power Plan Drove The Utility Power Mix Transition
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How Utilities Are Answering The Distributed Energy Resources Challenge
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Looking At New Rates To Unlock The Utility Of The Future
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 7:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough

    Tuesday, July 07, 2015

    TODAY’S STUDY: THE ELECTRICITY USED TO GET WATER

    A Survey of Energy Use in Water Companies

    Rachel Young, June 2015 (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy)

    Abstract

    The relationship between water and energy is a close one. Water requires a tremendous amount of energy to move from a reservoir or well, through the treatment process, and out into a distribution system. In addition, energy is required to process wastewater and recycle or discharge it. The energy required to operate the water and wastewater system is often called embedded energy.

    Despite this strong connection, the energy intensity of water and wastewater systems is relatively undocumented. There are few data sources and reports analyzing the energy required to move and treat water, and the data generally are not publicly available. ACEEE has been working to gain a better understanding of the energy embedded in water in order to help water utilities reduce costs, improve energy efficiency, and quantify the avoided energy and pollution savings that accrue as a result of water conservation programs.

    As part of an ongoing effort to advance the understanding of the water–energy nexus and bring attention to possible opportunities, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) collaborated on a new research project to gather primary information on the amount of energy required to treat and distribute water. ACEEE and NAWC jointly produced a survey for NAWC’s member companies related to their energy use and water processing. NAWC has over 100 member water and wastewater companies of varying sizes throughout the United States.

    Unsurprisingly, the water companies surveyed have energy intensity similar to those seen in previous ACEEE research (Young 2014). In our previous study we found that energy intensity of the water system is between 200 kWh/million gallons and 16,000 kWh/million gallons. Table ES1 shows the result of the NAWC survey, a range of 0–2,800 kWh/million gallons, with an average of about 2,300 kWh/million gallons.

    The survey also confirmed previous studies showing that the distance water travels in the system, the water source, and the size of the water utility all impact the energy intensity of the water system.

    In addition to the energy and water data collected, ACEEE found that some water and wastewater companies are making substantial progress in improving their energy and water efficiency. Overall we found that 9 out of 11 participating utilities have instituted leak-detection efforts in the past three years and 5 out of 11 offer water conservation programs of some sort to their customers. Of the 11 participating utilities, 3 partner with an energy utility, including 1 water utility with a joint program for end-use customers.

    Introduction

    The relationship between water and energy is a close one. Water requires a tremendous amount of energy to move from a reservoir or well, through the treatment process, and out into a distribution system. A gallon of water weighs approximately eight pounds, and water systems may stretch for hundreds of miles. In addition, energy is required to process wastewater and to recycle or discharge it. The energy required to operate the water and wastewater system is often called embedded energy.

    Despite this strong connection, the energy intensity of water and wastewater systems is relatively undocumented. There are few data sources and reports analyzing the energy required to move and treat water, and the data are generally not publicly available. ACEEE has been working to gain a better understanding of the energy embedded in water in order to help water utilities reduce costs, improve energy efficiency, and quantify the avoided energy and pollution savings that accrue as a result of water conservation programs.

    As part of an ongoing effort to advance the understanding of the water-energy nexus and bring attention to possible opportunities, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) collaborated on a new research project to gather primary information on the amount of energy required to treat and distribute water. This effort has three goals:

    1. Expand our understanding of the energy embedded in water source and conveyance, treatment, and distribution as well as wastewater treatment and discharge.

    2. Provide data on energy use per gallon of water processed.

    3. Help NAWC members better understand their energy use to help them identify opportunities for reducing energy use.

    To achieve these objectives, ACEEE and NAWC jointly produced a survey for NAWC’s member companies related to their energy use and water processing. NAWC has over 100 member companies of varying sizes throughout the United States. The intersection between water and energy provides many opportunities for water companies to save energy by becoming more energy efficient, reducing water waste at their facilities, and persuading their customers to waste less water. We wanted to get a better understanding of how NAWC’s members are improving their energy efficiency. In our survey we asked companies to provide their energy consumption and water processing data so we could understand their energy intensities. Several questions in the survey focused on energy efficiency at water processing plants, conservation programs provided, and any efforts undertaken in partnership with energy utilities.

    Water And Wastewater Facilities

    In this paper when we refer to water companies we mean companies that process and supply potable water to customers. Water supply has a multitude of systems that use energy during operations, including the actual processing and pumping of water. The majority of energy use in potable water processes is in pumping water from the source through to distribution channels. Pumping of treated water is particularly electric-intensive and accounts for the majority of total electricity use in public water-supply systems.

    We also discuss wastewater companies that are responsible for the collection, treatment, and discharge of water after it has been used by people in homes, businesses, or industry. We include any treatment of water that is then recycled back to the end-use customer or is supplied back to the water companies. The energy associated with recycling water is included in the wastewater section of this paper.

    Though wastewater treatment facilities use some natural gas for space heating and heating of anaerobic digesters, they rely primarily on electricity for a wide range of processes, including pumping, filtration, aeration, air compression, and sludge dewatering and thickening (Hamilton et al. 2009). Electricity accounts for almost all energy use in public water supply systems, where it is used for pumping, flocculation, filtration, and feeding of coagulant and chlorine (Carns 2005). For this paper we report electricity use from survey respondents.

    Last, there are companies who serve both water and wastewater needs. We report findings for water process and wastewater process separately, but it is important to note that some companies have both services.

    Private Versus Public Water Companies

    The majority of water in the United States is supplied by municipal or public water and wastewater utilities, while approximately 16% of water companies are private. There are approximately 4,200 privately owned wastewater companies in the United States, which equates to about 20% of wastewater utilities (NAWC 2009). For the purpose of this survey, we partnered with NAWC, whose members are all private water and wastewater companies.

    NAWC’s members include privately owned and publicly traded drinking water utilities and wastewater services companies. They also serve professional water contracting companies. Their members are within the United States and include over 120 companies that range from very small businesses to companies with service territories covering multiple states. Their members serve over 90% of all private water customers.

    Often private water companies work in partnership with public entities. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are contractual arrangements that enable municipalities to outsource the management and operation of their water and wastewater systems. Several of NAWC’s member companies are working in partnership with municipalities…

    Energy Efficiency…Conservation…Joint Efficiency Programs…

    Conclusions

    The results of the survey show a similar range of energy intensity for potable water services, as we have seen in the past. Though our data sample was limited, we found that the data results were impacted by factors such as distance, elevation, water source, and company size.

    Last, there are additional opportunities for greater energy efficiency, water conservation, and joint program partnership. A few respondents have already taken advantage of these opportunities, charting the course for other companies to follow.

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