California’s Water-Energy Nexus Studied in White Paper

Courtesy of the Association of California Water Agencies, a report on California’s watergy challenge:

A white paper on actions that can be undertaken by California’s water sector to help achieve the state’s energy efficiency and environmental goals is now available online. The paper, called California’s Water-Energy Nexus: Pathways to implementation, was written on behalf of the Water-Energy Team of the Governor’s Climate Action Team (WET-CAT). The report was prepared by GEI Consultants, Inc. and funded in part by ACWA.

In a preface to the report, Martha Davis and Grant Davis, chair and vice chair respectively of ACWA’s Energy Committee, called the paper an important work that outlines the potential strategic role that water and wastewater agencies could play in helping to reduce the energy consumption embedded in the water services, increase renewable generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They noted, however, that not all water and wastewater agencies have the same options, opportunities or flexibility to take action.

“From operational to fiscal to staffing concerns, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the state’s water-energy programs and policies will not work,” the preface states. “Water and wastewater agencies are responsible for ensuring that the actions they take to contribute to statewide goals are locally cost effective and supported by their ratepayers. For this reason, the information and recommendations in this white paper represent an important first step in securing the policy and infrastructure synergies that the energy-water nexus naturally promotes.”

Frances Spivy-Weber, vice chair of the State Water Resources Control Board and co-chair of the multi-agency WET-CAT, said of the paper in a press release announcing its release:

“Fully harvesting the benefits of California’s water-energy-climate nexus will require shedding historical silos in favor of cross-cutting investment models and criteria. The path will not be simple, but our needs are now urgent. This paper is a call to action. WET-CAT is prepared to help pave the way.”

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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.”