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The Water-Energy-Greenhouse Gas Connection

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In 2005, California, led by the California Energy Commission, began a serious look at the water-energy- greenhouse gas relationship in the state. Saving water saves energy. Saving energy saves water, both where there are cooling towers on buildings and at thermal power plants which use water for cooling. You save more in Southern California than in Northern California because of the energy attached to imported water. Saving water used outdoors is good (pumping, treatment and delivery), saving water used indoors is better (no waste removal, treatment and discharge) and saving hot water is still better (no energy to heat the water too). This paper will build on the work done by the California Energy Commission by presenting information on both sides of the connection: energy for water and water for energy

Keywords: carbon footprint; energy; energy efficiency; greenhouse gasses; renewable energy; wastewater treatment; water; water treatment; water use cycle; water use efficiency

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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