Down the Drain
On Saturday, I tweeted an interesting stat about the amount of energy used to move and treat water in California:
Wow. CA uses almost 1/5th of it’s electricity to move water around #energy #water
The stat came from a peer’s presentation about her research on the linkage between energy and water. Several folks wanted to know a little bit more, so I tracked down the statistic to a report from the California Energy Commission report (PDF). The full statistic is that California uses 19 percent of its electricity to treat and transport water into and around California.
Not only is electricity is used to move and treat water, but water is used to cool the power plants that produce the electricity to treat and move the water. Yikes!
Last year, I flew into San Diego from Austin for the AAAS Annual Conference. As the plane neared San Diego, the desert landscape transformed into green lawns and golf courses – the result of a lot of water and electricity for a region that has neither to spare. Don’t worry, we Texans aren’t any better about it.
As with other things we waste (food, plastic bags, etc.), water is too cheap. As a result, we end up flushing a lot of water and electricity down the drain.