How Energy Plays a Role in Water Usage
The UN World Water Day aims to raise global awareness of water usage and conservation. As part of #WorldWaterDay, here are some thoughts on the important role energy plays in water usage.
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy, and energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution. This infographic compares different energy generation methods and how much water each of them consumes.
THE WATER-ENERGY RELATIONSHIP
- Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission consume water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Similarly, about 8 percent of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
- When people consider going solar, they’re often thinking about their pocketbooks, not the planet. That’s because homeowners save an average of $84 a month when they switch to solar.
- And when people do think about saving the planet with their solar panels, they’re probably thinking more often about the incredible amounts of carbon pollution they’ll be eliminating by switching to clean energy.
- But a lesser-known fact about solar is that it also saves lots of water. Given the devastating drought that’s hit the western US, selecting an energy source that requires no water is a smart choice.
HOW MUCH WATER IS USED BY DIFFERENT ENERGY GENERATION METHODS?
- Coal power plants consume 100-1,100 gallons of water per MWh — equivalent to 2 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- Nuclear power plants consume 600-800 gallons of water per MWh — 1.5 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- Natural gas power plants consume 20-300 gallons of water per MWh — 0.5 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- Solar power, meanwhile, consumes zero gallons of water.
Zbigniew Barwicz is president and CEO of Pure Energies Group. A serial entrepreneur who was nominated for the Canadian Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, Zbig has built technology companies, structured sophisticated partnerships, and managed complex finance deals. He is focused on sustainability and cleantech—particularly solar energy—to combat climate change. Zbig has lived in Europe, Africa and North America, and visited 44 countries on six continents. He looks forward to his first step on Antarctica. email@example.com
- 2015 Insider Knowledge
- Operationalizing EHS Management: Bridge the Gap from Strategy to Execution
- Top 10 Steps for a Successful EMIS Project
- eBook: Five Key Considerations for Integrating Renewables into Your Procurement Strategy
- Choosing the Correct Emission Control Technology
- The Corporate Sustainability Professional's Guide to Better Data Management
- Strategies for a Successful EHS&S Software Selection
- The New Energy Future - Challenges and Opportunities in Corporate Energy Management
- 2016 Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards
- There’s Money in the Trash