Monday, April 25, 2011

Energy-Water Nexus: Amount of Energy Needed to Supply, Use, and Treat Water Is Location-Specific and Can Be Reduced by Certain Technologies... - GAO

This Government Accountability Office report (GAO-11-225), dated March 2011, finds that comprehensive data about the energy needed for each stage of the urban
water lifecycle are limited.

Specialists GAO spoke with emphasized that the energy demands of the urban water lifecycle vary by location. Considering location-specific and other key factors is necessary to assess energy needs.

A variety of technologies and approaches can improve the energy efficiency of
drinking water and wastewater processes, but barriers exist to their adoption.
Installing more efficient equipment, adopting water conservation measures, and upgrading infrastructure are among some of the approaches that can decrease energy use, according to specialists GAO spoke with and studies

GAO reviewed technologies to identify potential pipeline leaks throughout water systems can reduce water loss and the energy required to pump and treat that “lost” water. However, according to specialists, adoption of technologies and approaches to improve energy efficiency may be hindered by the costs of retrofitting plants with more energy-efficient equipment and competing priorities at treatment facilities, among other barriers.

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