The State of U.S. Urban Water: Data and the Energy-Water Nexus

Via Nexus, a reference to an interesting new study on the U.S. watergy nexus:

In this study, the authors evaluate the energy-for-water component of the energy-water nexus by providing and analyzing a unique primary database consisting of drinking water and wastewater utility flows and energy. These anthropogenic fluxes of water through the urban environment are used to assess the state of the U.S. urban energy-water nexus at over 160 utilities.

The average daily per person water flux is estimated at 560 liters of drinking water and 500 liters of wastewater. Drinking water and wastewater utilities require 340 kWh/1,000 m3 and 430 kWh/1,000 m3 of energy, respectively, to treat these resources. The total national energy demand for water utilities accounts for 1.0% of the total annual electricity consumption of the United States.

Additionally, the water and embedded energy loss associated with non-revenue water accounts for 9.1 x 109 m3 of water and 3,100 GWh, enough electricity to power 300,000 U.S. households annually.

Finally, the water flux and embedded energy fluctuated monthly in many cities. As the nation’s water resources become increasingly scarce and unpredictable, it is essential to have a set of empirical data for continuous evaluation and updates on the state of the U.S. urban energy-water nexus.


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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.”