While the focus of this blog has been on energy use and demand and greenhouse gas emission reductions, it should not be forgotten that an effective sustainability and self-improvement plan addresses other issues, such as water conservation, solid waste generation (or lack thereof), etc. A recent study indicated that while California was just short of meeting its goal of a 25% water use reduction in 2015, when most of the state was in a severe drought, the policies implemented in the program did result in additional benefits. See https://phys.org/news/2018-01-california-bonus-effects.html
Coming off a four-year drought, California ultimately reduced water usage by 524,000 million gallons. In addition, it was determined that this action resulted in a decrease in electricity usage of about 1,830 GWh, which exceeded electricity savings achieved by investor-owned electricity utilities’ efficiency programs during the same period. In addition, significant declines were seen in natural gas and oil usage for generators in water service. This also resulted in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of about 524,000 metric tons of CO2e.
California implemented a Water Action Plan, with strict guidelines for continuing to manage water use in the state. These guidelines were localized to the needs of the state’s 410 urban water suppliers. Businesses and homeowners have and will continue to face restrictions such as bans on wasteful practices such as hosing sidewalks and watering lawns after rain. Strict planning, measurement of water use, and reporting were also required.
These results should not be a surprise as previous inventories have indicated that water transportation, treatment, distribution and end-use consumption account for 19% of total electricity demand in California. With significantly less water to manage and use, electricity demand would be expected to and did decline.
This can be a lesson for other states, counties, and communities that wish or need to decrease total energy usage and/or greenhouse gas emissions. Reduced water usage (particularly, reduced waste) will lead to significant energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
CCES has the experts to help your entity reduce water, as well as energy, usage waste and maximize the financial gains for you. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation discussion about the matter at 914-584-6720 or at karell@CCESworld.com.