In the United States, generating power consumes 3 percent of our nation's water annually and 13 percent of the energy produced in this country each year is used to treat, transport and heat our water. Conserving water saves energy, and vice versa. The water-energy connection is complex, but it provides an excellent opportunity to get students thinking about the interrelatedness of ecological and environmental concerns.
Articles and Reports
- Alternative Energy Projects Stumble on a Need for Water, an article published in The New York Times in September 2009, highights the link between renewable energy production and water consumption.
- California's Water-Energy Relationship, published in 2005 by the California Energy Commission, reports on the relationship between water and energy.
- The Carbon Footprint of Water, published by River Network in 2009, explores the energy and carbon emissions embedded in the nation's water supplies.
- Energy Demands on Water Resources, a report to Congress drafted by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2006, explores the interdependence between energy and water.
- Energy Down the Drain: The Hidden Costs of California's Water Supply, published in 2004 by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pacific Institute, looks at the energy consumption of all stages of the water treatment and distrubution processes.
- Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Save Water, Too explains the water consumption involved with electricity production.
- Seven Ways to Save Energy by Saving Water offers a few practical ideas on how to conserve water to conserve energy.
- Conserving Water Conserves Energy, a video public service announcement which earned Honorable Mention in the U.S. EPA's 2009 Water Quality Video Contest, illustrates the connection between water and energy consumption.
- Energy Conservation for Kids - Water Usage Tips is a short video with tips for saving water and energy around the house.
- The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources hearing on the Energy and Water Integration Act of 2009 features six experts on the water-energy connection.
- The Water for Energy - Energy For Water forum, held at the University of California San Diego in February 2009, explores the complex relationship between water and energy.
Web Sites and Programs
- Bottled Water and Energy: A Fact Sheet provides statistics and information on the energy involved with producing bottled water in the U.S from the Pacific Institute.
- Energy Savers: Energy-Efficient Water Heating is a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Energy on increasing the energy efficiency of your household water heater.
- River Network's Saving Water, Saving Energy program provides statistics, graphics, reports and news on the water-energy nexus.
- Sustainable Infrastructure for Water & Wastewater: Energy and Water is a resource page of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with an emphasis on national efforts to reduce climate impacts and save money and water.
- Watergy, a program of the Alliance to Save Energy, helps cities in developing countries realize significant energy, water and monetary savings, providing consumers with quality water while using a minimum of water and energy.
- Energy vs. Water, Scientific American Special Edition, October 2008
Click on an image for a full-sized version from the source.