Water and Energy Coming Together in San Antonio

Via The River Network, an interesting report on San Antonio’s efforts to bring water and energy together:

“…April 8th was the marking of another big day for the water-energy nexus in TX as the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and CPS Energy utilities came together for a meeting with San Antonio mayor Julian Castro to discuss the cities existing and future combined water and energy resource management plans.

As the production of electricity requires a massive amount of water, and the pumping, heating (or cooling) and treating of water requires a massive amount of energy, it only makes sense for water and energy utilities work together with city officials in the management of the two all to commonly under-appreciated resources. This partnership makes even greater sense for the utilities as SAWS is CPS’s second largest energy consumer and CPS is SAWS’s largest recycled water consumer and sixth largest potable water consumer.

Acknowledging the significance of the water energy nexus, a press release by the San Antonio Water System following their meeting reported:

Recognizing the water-energy nexus, or the critical, mutually dependent relationship between the two resources, allows San Antonio to manage the two in tandem to help maintain reliable and sustainable supplies of both energy and water. Each is critical to production of the other; water is needed to generate electricity, and energy is needed to move water and treat wastewater. Since the two are interrelated, working together can yield enormous conservation benefits for the community, as well as economic and environmental benefits.

Some of the meeting’s highlights included:

  • The expansion of CPS Energy‘s use of SAWS‘ recycled water from 40,000 to 50,000 acre-feet of water per year used for cooling purposes.
  • A lease agreement between SAWS and SunEdison for a 20 megawatt solar energy installation at SAWS’ Dos Rios Water Recycling Center – which will be one of the largest solar energy projects in Texas; and
  • A commitment from CPS Energy to purchase 30 megawatts of electricity produced by SunEdison solar power facilities.

This coming together serves as a great example of how water and energy utilities can and should work together to ensure the conservation of water and the greater environment as a whole. Hopefully more cities around the US will realize these potential environmental and economical benefits of combined water and energy management and follow suit.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 11:03 am and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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About This Blog And Its Author
As the scarcity of water and energy continues to grow, the linkage between these two critical resources will become more defined and even more acute in the months ahead.  This blog is committed to analyzing and referencing articles, reports, and interviews that can help unlock the nascent, complex and expanding linkages between water and energy -- The Watergy Nexus -- and will endeavor to provide a central clearinghouse for insightful articles and comments for all to consider.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has held a lifelong interest in environmental and conservation issues, primarily as they relate to freshwater scarcity, renewable energy, and national park policy.  Working from a water-scarce base in Las Vegas with his wife and son, he is the founder of Water Politics, an organization dedicated to the identification and analysis of geopolitical water issues arising from the world’s growing and vast water deficits, and is also a co-founder of SmartMarkets, an eco-preneurial venture that applies web 2.0 technology and online social networking innovations to motivate energy & water conservation.  He previously worked for an independent power producer in Central Asia; co-authored an article appearing in the Summer 2010 issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, titled: “The Water Ethic: The Inexorable Birth Of A Certain Alienable Right”; and authored an article appearing in the inaugural issue of Johns Hopkins University's Global Water Magazine in July 2010 titled: “H2Own: The Water Ethic and an Equitable Market for the Exchange of Individual Water Efficiency Credits.”