Comprehensive survey of academic, government and nonprofit publications between 1990 and 2013 also points out lack of data about amount of water needed to energy resources and to generate electricity.
Water and wastewater managers are missing substantial opportunities to save energy and money, according to a report published Wednesday (Sept. 4) by Water in the West, a research center at Stanford University. The report, "Water and Energy Nexus: A Literature Review," also identifies significant gaps in knowledge about the amount of water used to extract energy resources such as natural gas, oil and coal, and to generate electricity.
The report finds "robust opportunities for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as for the conservation of scarce water resources, coupled with the potential for generating significant new renewable energy resources," according to co-author Cynthia Truelove, a visiting scholar with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
The report is a comprehensive survey of publications by the academic, government and nonprofit sectors between 1990 and 2013 that analyzes policy, along with scientific and technical research, on the connections between water and energy.
"This report summarizes the tremendous breadth and depth of research and analysis that has explored the interrelationship between water and energy," said Andrew Fahlund, executive director of Water in the West. "Nevertheless, it also points out a number of significant gaps in our understanding of the nexus of water and energy and points to important needs for future study."
The report is organized in two sections: "Energy for Water," which explores energy used by the water and wastewater sectors, and "Water for Energy," which documents water used to generate different forms of energy. It adopts a full life-cycle approach to show the integral relationship between water and energy.
Some key findings of the report:
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