The Saving Water, Saving Energy blog provides news, resources and analysis on water, energy, and climate change issues with an emphasis on the inextricable connections between water and energy, also know as the Water-Energy Nexus.
In just under 20 minutes, Surfrider Foundation has not only managed to illustrate the craziness with which we develop and manage water in the United States, but they also explain how we can fix it! Their new animated video, called The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water, communicates complex topics like integrated water management, climate change impacts, the water-energy nexus and human influences on the hydrologic cycle in a way that people of all ages and familiarity with water issues can understand.
In an implicit recognition that water footprints are becoming just as noteworthy as carbon footprints, the Carbon Disclosure Project has launched a program aimed at persuading over 300 global companies to begin issuing detailed reports on their water use.
The Great Lakes Commission, an interstate compact agency that promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River, has released a new report on the implications of the water-energy nexus for the Great Lakes region.
The Indian Point nuclear power plant 35 miles north of New York City has been denied water-quality certification by the State of New York due to its outmoded cooling technology, which is blamed for violating the Clean Water Act and killing billions of fish each year. The ruling, seen as a major victory for environmentalists, will require the power station to upgrade its cooling systems and drastically curtail the 2.5 billion gallons of water it withdraws each day from the Hudson River.
Last week the National Environmental Education Foundation hosted a webinar in partnership with River Network and Earth Day Network called Teaching the Water-Energy Connection, which is now available online. The webinar begins with a general overview of the water-energy nexus in the United States before highlighting successful water and energy conservation projects taking place in schools across the country, as well as lesson plans on the water-energy connection.
In a major new peer-reviewed study, a team of researchers collected all of the historical temperature data they could find on streams and rivers in the United States and discovered that water temperatures are increasing in many of our nation’s waterways.
A successful pilot program initiated last year in Palm Desert, CA installed smart water meters inside homes and offered residents incentives to cut back on their water usage during peak hours of the day when electricity and typically water demands are the highest.
The Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) and the U.S. Department of Energy are hosting the Water-Energy Sustainability Symposium in Pittsburgh, PA this September 26th – 29th. For the second year in a row, River Network has partnered with GWPC to help make this the best-attended, most informative event dedicated to educating watershed protection groups, policy makers, business leaders and other key stakeholders on the connections between water and energy.
The Johnson Foundation has spent the last year or so convening water experts from across the country to identify and address what many consider to be the world’s looming water crisis. Today – World Water Day 2010 - the Johnson Foundation provides some details about their findings.
The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST), along with academic and corporate partners, will co-sponsor a symposium in Chicago, IL during April 21-22, 2010, on four areas related to several Grand Challenges: clean water; carbon, energy and climate; urban sustainability; and global health.
A few months ago we helped spread the word about the $300 million made available through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, and asked our Partners to contact their state energy offices to urge them to prioritize water using appliances, such as clothes washers and dishwashers, with the highest rebates. Now you can find out what rebates are available in your state.
On March 11, 2010 the state of Georgia enacted the Water Stewardship Bill, a comprehensive law which requires higher efficiency standards for toilets, faucets, urinals and cooling towers, standardized water loss reporting by public water utilities, metering of multi-family, commercial and industrial construction, and a statewide outdoor watering schedule.
In November 2009, the Partnership for Water Conservation (PWC) held a workshop entitled Saving Energy Through Water Conservation, which featured keynote speakers: Bevan Griffiths-Sattenspiel (River Network) and Heather Cooley (Pacific Institute). After the workshop Mori Wallner, then a grad student and now the PWC's Conservation Specialist working on the Nisqually Project, wrote an article outlining some of the linkages between water and energy.
Nearly a year ago, I attended a meeting at the University of Texas at Austin which brought together a couple dozen or so experts to identify policy barriers and map out ideas to better integrate water and energy decision making. During the meeting, I was introduced to a great report from researchers at UT Austin and the Environmental Defense Fund that explores the water-energy nexus in Texas.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com recently hosted a great roundtable discussion on the water-energy nexus and why it's so important for governments and companies to think about as they develop new sources of energy.
As part of this year's National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) - which just so happens to be focusing on the water-energy nexus - River Network is teaming up with Earth Day Network and the National Environmental Education Foundation for a webinar on Tuesday, March 31, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Although I firmly believe that river advocates need to be involved in discussions around climate change, I’ve done my best to avoid using this blog to comment on the contentious and often vitriolic debate hovering around the science of global warming (in part, because it'd be too hard not to use epithets). But I recently came across a fantastic, must-read article written by Bill Mckibben that does a great job putting this worn-out climate debate in perspective. In short, climate change politics have evolved into an ‘O.J. moment.’
At River Network, we’ve been doing our best to help people understand that the world will primarily experience climate change through water. Although the critical role of water is often overlooked, experts at the United Nations are starting to speak up.
In January 2010, the Great Lakes Commission launched two new initiatives that will engage regional and national talent to generate new information that can help the states collectively achieve the goals of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Agreement.