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.
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.
The Waukesha County Water Conservation Coalition is excited to announce that they will be hosting the Southeast Wisconsin Water and Energy Efficiency Expo May 7th and 8th! The event will take place at the Waukesha County Expo Forum Building.
National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the largest organized environmental education event in the United States. EE Week's 2010 theme is “Be Water and Energy Wise,” which means that thousands of K-12 educators across the country will be informing their students on the importance of the water-energy nexus and the enormous potential to save energy by saving water.
A new report called “Testing the Water: Smart Metering for Water Utilities” was recently published by Oracle. The report uses information compiled from a survey of more than 1,200 water consumers and 300 water utility managers in the United States and Canada to analyze people’s perception on smart metering and water use.
This past December, the Metropolitan Energy Center based in Kansas City, MO held a half day seminar on the water-energy nexus that included speakers from River Network, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and University of Texas at Austin. A new website has just gone up featuring presentations from the event, educational information on an exciting pilot project called “Project Living Proof,” a water-energy savings calculator and an awesome interactive map showing the combined benefits of water-oriented strategies across Kansas City.
A solar power plant proposed in the arid desert near Bakersfield, California was almost abandoned last year due to concerns over water supply. It appears that an unconventional compromise has been reached: NextEra Energy, the company seeking to build the power plant, will cut down hundreds of thirsty nonnative trees in the area to offset the power plant’s water use.
Although we’re well into 2010, I recently learned that River Network’s publication, The Carbon Footprint of Water, was ranked among the Top 10 of 2009 by Water Online, a resource database for water professionals! Overall, our report was ranked #2 on their list of the year's most popular articles.
In a report for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Stacy Tellinghuisen, an Energy/Water Analyst with Western Resource Advocates, describes one of the most important reasons that Colorado's water utilities should be investing more to achieve water savings: water conservation = energy conservation.
Integrated Resource Recovery is a new way of thinking about waste. Rather than viewing waste as something to be disposed of, IRR views waste as a resource that can continually provide value to communities. Sign up for a webinar taking place Thursday, February 4th to learn more about this concept.
Integrated Resource Recovery (IRR) is a new way of managing limited resources by viewing waste as a valuable commodity that can be used to supply water, generate clean energy, grow food and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Ministry of Community and Rural Development in British Columbia has published a great guidebook to inform the public on this exciting concept.
In a remarkable short video produced by Circle of Blue for last year’s World Economic Forum we see that water is intrinsic to virtually every aspect of our lives, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat and the power that is used to heat our homes and run our economy.
The New York Times Green Inc. Blog has an interesting post about the challenges facing smart water meters, which could help water utilities detect leaks, better manage their supplies, and provide their customers with real-time water use data to encourage conservation.
River Network Partner, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, is doing some excellent work to address climate change through their Sierra Water and Climate Change Campaign. Through this program, SNA has been collecting case studies and compiling resources to alert the public and decision makers to the impacts of climate change in the Sierras and ensure that smart local resource management plans are adopted that protect natural resources by reducing emissions and adapting to the changing climate.
A partnership initiative led by The Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP) has been awarded a major grant from the The Kresge Foundation to help six rural forested communities protect forest and water resources and address climate change issues through planning and community action. The Cumberland River Compact, a River Network Partner, and the Climate Project are collaborating with MFPP to create this unique educational opportunity to benefit six rural communities across the U.S.
For the last couple of years, California water and energy utilities have initiated pilot partnership programs to explore the potential to leverage their resources and provide customers with incentives to optimize their water and energy savings.
The US Department of Energy has issued a report to congress that explores a number of strategies to reduce the water consumption of concentrating solar power (CSP) electricity generation, a promising renewable energy option that may substantially increase water demands in some of the country's most arid regions.
For my first post of the New Year I would like to bring attention to an excellent article written by Carol Maas - the innovation and technology director at the Canadian-based POLIS Water Sustainability Project - that describes the potential to cost-effectively save energy through water efficiency.