GWF Discussion Paper Examines the Energy-Water Nexus in the US

8 January 2013: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Global Water Forum (GWF) has published a discussion paper, titled “Quantifying the Energy Embedded in the US Water System,” examining energy use in the water sector.

The paper, by Kelly Sanders and Michael Webber, University of Texas, US, aims to address data gaps related to the energy use of the US water sector, identifying three categories of energy use in the water sector: direct water services; direct steam use; and indirect steam use. The study outlined in the paper found that 12.6% of 2010 energy consumption in the US was water- and steam-use related, with 5.4 quadrillion BTUs used for provision of water services such as treatment and pumping.

The energy consumption of the water sector was found to be 25% more than that consumed for lighting in both the commercial and residential sectors. The paper concludes that these outcomes make the water sector ideal for policies to improve energy efficiency. [Publication: Quantifying the Energy Embedded in the US Water System]