Energy Savings from Industrial Water Reductions
Although it is widely recognized that reducing freshwater consumption is of critical importance, generating interest in industrial water reduction programs can be hindered for a variety of reasons. These include the low cost of water, greater focus on water use in other sectors such as the agriculture and residential sectors, high levels of unbilled and/or unregulated self-supplied water use in industry, and lack of water metering and tracking capabilities at industrial facilities. However, there are many additional components to the resource savings associated with reducing site water use beyond the water savings alone, such as reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, treatment chemicals, and impact on the local watershed. Understanding and quantifying these additional resource savings can expand the community of businesses, NGOs, government agencies, and researchers with a vested interest in water reduction.
This paper will develop a methodology for evaluating the embedded energy consumption associated with water use at an industrial facility. The methodology developed will use available data and references to evaluate the energy consumption associated with water supply and wastewater treatment outside of a facility's fence line for various water sources. It will also include a framework for evaluating the energy consumption associated with water use within a facility's fence line. The methodology will develop a more complete picture of the total resource savings associated with water reduction efforts and allow industrial water reduction programs to assess the energy and CO2 savings associated with their efforts.