Coal, the most abundant fossil fuel, currently accounts for 52 percent of US electricity generation, and each kilowatt-hour generated from coal requires withdrawal of 25 gallons of water. That means US citizens may indirectly depend upon as much water turning on the lights and running appliances as they directly use taking showers and watering lawns.
Utilities can expect water conservation to play a growing role in their efforts to comply with the Clean Power Plan. In fact, Water/Energy Nexus: Claiming Energy Savings for Water Measures and the Associated Calculations was chosen by utilities as a topic for the pre-forum workshops at the Utility Energy Forum.
Working out these issues will take time, but you don’t have to wait to encourage your customers to save water. Summer is the season for gardening, swimming and—yes—extra showers, so take a moment now to explore Energy Services’ Water Conservation resources. This page is loaded with information about drought management, irrigation and water-saving tips for commercial and residential customers.
In that last category is a new resource from the Southwest Florida Water Management District that could help motivate your customers to get on board with a water conservation program. The Water Use Calculator is an easy-to-use tool that allows the user figure out how much water they consume at home, both individually and as a family.
Most people will be surprised—even a little alarmed—to discover how much water everyday activities use (the Energy Service staff was, and we think about these things a lot). Try placing the link on your website or running it in your online newsletter to get your customers’ attention. Then follow it up with customer communication on tips for cutting down water consumption, such as Water Use it Wisely for residential customers. You can find those resources on the Water Conservation page as well.
While you are there, check out the information on water efficiency for commercial and agricultural customers. This customer segment is already motivated to cut water use, so be ready to help them with Best Management Practices for Water Efficiency and Water Efficiency Case Studies.
For many utilities, water conservation is already an important part of their resource management activities. If you have a favorite tip sheet, calculator or strategy for determining savings, share it with Energy Services. Once an esoteric concept, the water-energy nexus is now everybody’s business.