Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Saving water also saves energy » Yale Climate Connections

As the climate warms, concerns about water scarcity are growing. Conserving water in homes, on lawns, and at businesses helps ensure that there’s enough to go around.

And Ron Burke, CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, says that conservation comes with other benefits too.

“When we save water, we also save energy,” he says.

That’s because all stages of the water system use energy — starting with the electricity needed to pump water from a reservoir or aquifer.

“And then to pump it to the treatment plant, to treat the water at the treatment plant, to pump it again through the pipes to the buildings,” Burke says.

Then when water goes down a drain or toilet, it’s often pumped again for wastewater treatment.

So improving water efficiency can cut back on all of this energy use. Burke says utilities and municipalities can take steps such as repairing aging, damaged pipes that cause water to be wasted.

“Some water agencies are losing, you know, 10%, 20% of their water to leaks underground,” he says.

And individuals can help save water, too. Switching to low-flow shower heads and faucets and using less water for landscaping can help conserve water – and reduce carbon pollution.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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