Energy and Water
Large amounts of electricity are required to obtain, treat and transport water and wastewater. In addition, large amounts of water are needed to produce electricity. As energy prices rise, they drive utility costs higher, causing operating costs of water treatment plants and water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) to soar. WRRFs are typically the largest energy consumers in local government, accounting for 30 to 40% of the total energy consumed. Many WRRFs have begun steering away from their dependency on foreign oil by researching wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, as sustainable solutions are needed quickly.
Water Energy Future Report
The Water Environment Federation(WEF), the Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance) and Danfoss have released a report developed from the Water Energy Future Workshop held in November 2012. Hosted by Danfoss, The Alliance and WEF, the workshop convened energy and water experts from federal agencies, local government, non-governmental organizations, finance and industry to identify critical issues, barriers and solutions in the water and energy space and define a set of actionable steps to advance energy efficiency and generation in water/wastewater treatment facilities. The summary report can be found here. The full report, complete with presentations, can be found here.
The WEF Energy Roadmap (Released October 1, 2012)
Wastewater treatment plants are not waste disposal facilities but are water resource recovery facilities that produce clean water, recover nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen), and have the potential to reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels through the production and use of renewable energy and the implementation of energy conservation. A number of utilities have already taken the leap towards resource recovery and have begun this transformation, many more are peering over the edge. WEF’s Roadmap to Energy Sustainability is designed to be a tool for utilities of all sizes and levels of advancement to identify areas for potential improvement, prioritize them, and then take the appropriate next steps toward increased energy independence. Read more...
Water Reuse At Power Plants (Released September 12, 2012)
Impending regional freshwater shortages and increasing electricity demand in the United States has encouraged the reuse of municipal wastewater in electric utilities. Treated by municipal wastewater plants, this reclaimed water can safely meet the water needs of the power producing process while conserving freshwater for other uses. WEF and ASME have embarked on an itiitative to facilitate the water reuse at power plants. Read more...
Renewable Energy Generation From Wastewater (Updated October 14, 2011)
WEF believes that wastewater treatment plants are not waste disposal facilities, but rather water resource recovery facilities that produce clean water, recover nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen), and have the potential to reduce the nation's dependence upon fossil fuel through the production and use of renewable energy. Read more...
CEE, WEF Release Energy Efficiency RFP Guidance - The Consortium for Energy Efficiency, in cooperation with WEF, has released the Energy Efficiency RFP Guidance for Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities. The guidance is intended to help cities and towns tap into federal funding streams and local efficiency program resources, and encourage incorporating energy efficiency as a standard feature of treatment facilities. Read more…
EPA Energy Management Initiative. In an effort to help utilities improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. EPA has published a guide to Ensuring a Sustainable Future: An Energy Management Guidebook for Wastewater and Water Utilities.
As part of their energy initiative, EPA regional offices are working with utilities to promote and implement energy saving, and in some cases, energy generating practices. The following two-page fact sheets from EPA Region 7’s Energy Management Initiative for Water & Wastewater Utilities showcase energy plans of participating utilities.
Check here for more information.
Opportunities for Involvement