This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 08, 2002

Responding to Drought: Saving Water Also Saves Energy

With drought conditions now extending over much of the West and up and down the East Coast, it's worth noting that saving water also saves energy. People who pump water from their own well know that all too well, but people that draw on municipal water systems may forget that their water is pumped - sometimes over long distances - and usually requires energy-intensive water treatment. According to the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), providing and treating water consumes about 3 percent of U.S. electricity supplies. With that in mind, the ASE is providing some tips on how to save energy by conserving water. See the ASE press release.

The ASE also notes that most water utilities are missing opportunities to save energy. See the ASE report.

Water is also tied to energy in a different way: in the production of electricity using hydroelectric power. But in California, at least, there's good news: the California Energy Commission expects the state's hydroelectric plants to produce a near-normal output this summer. Although the southern part of the state is very dry, the northern part, where the hydropower facilities are located, has received normal precipitation this year. See the CEC press release.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts gradual improvement in drought conditions in the East and much of the West, with severe drought likely to persist in the desert Southwest and in Montana. See NOAA's Drought Information Center, particularly the "Drought Monitor" and "Drought Outlook."