Water Conservation & Energy

Water and Energy

The 2005 California Energy Commission report titled “California’s Water-Energy Relationship” finds that water-related energy use consumes 19% of the state’s electricity.  Energy is needed to pump, treat, transport, heat, cool, and recycle water.  In 2000, California urban water use was approximately 7 million acre-feet (53% residential, 10% industrial, 27% commercial, 10% unaccounted).  Residential water use accounts for 48% of electricity and natural gas consumption associated with urban water use (commercial-30%; industrial-22%). The top four indoor water uses are toilet (26.7%), washer (21.7%), shower (16.8%), and faucet (15.7%).  Landscape water is approximately 40% - 50% of the residential use in California.  Surface water is 60% of the state’s water use with groundwater being 30% (12.5 million acre-feet/year).  Recycled water is only a small percentage of current water use but its usage is increasing.

It is estimated that urban water use will increase by as much as 6 million acre-feet by 2030. The
State Water Plan concludes that the largest single new supply available for meeting this expected growth in water demand over the next 25 years is water use efficiency.

Wastewater and Energy

In 1995, wastewater treatment in California used approximately 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh) of electricity. By reducing peak demand, water conservation can eliminate or delay the need for expanding treatment facilities or decreasing the size of the expansion needed.  Energy for wastewater treatment is expected to increase because of new requirements under the Clean Water Act. Increased quality of wastewater effluent means more recyclable water can be added to the water supply portfolio. 

Relationship to Woodland

Woodland’s water supply comes completely from groundwater.  In 2007, the City of Woodland operated 20 water supply wells, which used 7,376,863 KWh for a cost of nearly $947,000.  The energy use of these wells increases as the water table lowers because more energy is required to pump water to the surface.  The water supply wells represented 39% of the indirect greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the operation of City facilities.

Woodland’s water pollution control facility received 2,290 million gallons of influent (generally between 5 and 6 million gallons per day) during 2007. The resulting wastewater treatment operations used 4,951,893 KWh in 2007, for a cost of around $605,000.

Community reductions in water use can reduce energy consumption and costs in both the water production and wastewater treatment systems, and can prolong the life of infrastructure components within these systems.

Recommendations to Save Energy and Water for Residents
(from
Flex Your Power website):

  • Fix all leaks! Leaks in faucets, pipes and appliances will let water and money go right down the drain, and may be damaging your home in the process! Leaks don't just happen inside your home - irrigation systems can be the biggest source for leaks and should be checked regularly.
     
  • Replace your old toilet.  High efficiency toilets (HETs) use just 1.28 gallons per flush. By comparison, toilets manufactured before 1993 often use 3.5 gallons, and much older ones can use up to 8 gallons. 
     
  • Replace your clothes washer.  After your toilet, this is the second largest water user in your home. By replacing your old clothes washer with an ENERGY STAR qualified model you can cut your clothes washer's energy and water use by up to 50%. 
     
  • Plan landscaping with water in mind.  When replacing or updating your landscaping, make sure to pick water-wise plants. Depending on your local climate, you can select a wide variety of plants that will look great while using minimal water. When watering, avoid waste by only watering as much as your plants need. For more information on outdoor water conservation, click here
     
  • Make conservation a habit.  Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, only run full dishwasher loads, and cut back on washing the car. Little actions like these will add up to big water savings. Just like turning off lights in an unused room, making water conservation a habit is easy and will save money. Think about all the ways that you use water and how you might conserve. For more information on indoor water conservation, click here.

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