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Published on June 15th, 2008 | by Carol Gulyas

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Seven Ways to Save Energy by Saving Water

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June 15th, 2008 by  

 
Though many states and localities are waking up to their water shortages and taking steps to plan for “peak water”, people generally continue to waste water and to ignore the energy-water link. In 2004 the Natural Resources Defense Council did a study in conjunction with the Pacific Institute called “Energy Down the Drain” on how saving water saves energy. We need to do more to spread the word. Here are seven ways to save energy by saving water:

1. Use local water.

Transporting water uses energy, so rainwater harvesting is a serious water-and-energy saver. According to the NRDC/Pacific Institute study “California’s State Water Project (SWP), which transports water from Northern California to Southern California is the state’s largest single energy user, consuming 2 to 3 percent of all electricity. It takes tremendous amounts of energy to pump the water 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains — the highest water lift of any water system in the world

2. Use less heated water in homes and businesses.

Heating water uses a great deal of energy. Small things magnified a million times over — like washing clothes with cold water or taking shorter showers — saves large amounts of energy.

3. Use energy-saving appliances.

Energy Star appliances will decrease water and energy use.

4. Learn from Australia.

Why reinvent the wheel? Since 2006, when the BBC reported Australia’s biggest drought in 1,000 years, the situation has not improved. In an island nation, this has a tendency to focus the mind, and water-and energy-saving inventions have been pouring forth from that country, while the government introduces policies that save energy and water almost daily.

5. Rethink your bathroom.

Toto, an innovative company from Japan (another island nation concerned about water use) offers an EcoPower hands-free faucet that recharges itself each time it is used.

6. Rip out that lawn and replace it with a rain garden.

Watering grass, fertilizing it with petroleum-based fertilizers, and mowing it with a gas or electric mower…..need I say more?

7. Eat more vegetables and grains; cut down on the beef.

Animal farming takes more energy and water. “Beef production requires large volumes of water–as much as 100 times that required to produce equivalent amounts of protein energy from grains.” (Environmental Health Perspectives, 2002 And the cows are fed from corn that is farmed using energy-hogging fertilizers, insecticides, and fossil fuels.

If you think about it, it’s impossible to separate our energy use from our water use. If we can start thinking holistically about the systems we use in our daily lives — and get our governments to create policies that promote wise use of energy and water, we’ll be more ready for the limits to resources that are only going to increase.

Posts Related to Saving Energy and Water:

All You Need to Know About Water Saving Technology Around the House

Could Wind help Save Water?

Low-Energy Water Desalination From Seawater Greenhouse

Water Crisis: Clean Tech to the Rescue?

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About the Author

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.



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  • no

    what a rubish u r talking.who so ever has written it has no scense at all

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  • Ishabalgobin

    well i think this is the best ways and the best ideas given on how to converse water…. :)

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  • http://www.nv-oc.org Brandy Lellou

    Two economical easy to install devices for reducing 2 gallons with each flush are the toilet tummy and fill diverter. Check them out on http://naturesvoice-ourchoice.org/index.php/Conservation-Devices.html

  • http://www.nv-oc.org Brandy Lellou

    Two economical easy to install devices for reducing 2 gallons with each flush are the toilet tummy and fill diverter. Check them out on http://naturesvoice-ourchoice.org/index.php/Conservation-Devices.html

  • deliciousbass

    the best way i know to make a difference is to stop drinking bottled water! the carbon waste created by the bottled water industry is mind boggling.

  • deliciousbass

    the best way i know to make a difference is to stop drinking bottled water! the carbon waste created by the bottled water industry is mind boggling.

  • http://www.whichgreenelectronics.com Which Green Electronics?

    These are excellent ways to go green and save energy

    Some others to consider are green electronics. In general, electronics, like computers, printers, televisions, telephones and others, make great gifts; however, now, there is a wide selection of green electronics available by all of the leading brands, including Apple, Sony, HP, Panasonic and more.

    Green electronics are those which are ENERGY STAR® qualified. ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy efficient choices save families about one third on their energy bill with similar savings in greenhouse gas emissions. An ENERGY STAR® product does not sacrifice features, style or comfort.

    Green electronics would make great gifts, but really help the environment and save you money by conserving energy. Please visit http://www.whichgreenelectronics.com for more information on these products.

  • http://www.whichgreenelectronics.com Which Green Electronics?

    These are excellent ways to go green and save energy

    Some others to consider are green electronics. In general, electronics, like computers, printers, televisions, telephones and others, make great gifts; however, now, there is a wide selection of green electronics available by all of the leading brands, including Apple, Sony, HP, Panasonic and more.

    Green electronics are those which are ENERGY STAR® qualified. ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy efficient choices save families about one third on their energy bill with similar savings in greenhouse gas emissions. An ENERGY STAR® product does not sacrifice features, style or comfort.

    Green electronics would make great gifts, but really help the environment and save you money by conserving energy. Please visit http://www.whichgreenelectronics.com for more information on these products.

  • http://www.brightfuture.us Tim

    Excellent tips. Don’t forget rainwater harvesting! It may seem like an unreliable solution at first, since it’s dependent on the weather, but a recent study by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)argued that sever water shortages in Africa could be effectively addressed with rainwater harvesting. Read the article, it’s a very interesting and important idea.

  • http://www.brightfuture.us Tim

    Excellent tips. Don’t forget rainwater harvesting! It may seem like an unreliable solution at first, since it’s dependent on the weather, but a recent study by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)argued that sever water shortages in Africa could be effectively addressed with rainwater harvesting. Read the article, it’s a very interesting and important idea.

  • PoolGirl

    If any of you have a pool, another way to save water AND energy at the same time, and avoid polluting the planet with plastic pool blankets, is to use a liquid pool blanket. Check out: http://www.ecosavr.com

  • PoolGirl

    If any of you have a pool, another way to save water AND energy at the same time, and avoid polluting the planet with plastic pool blankets, is to use a liquid pool blanket. Check out: http://www.ecosavr.com

  • http://hermosaman.wordpress.com Mik

    We can put a brick or rock in the toilet cistern. Have water barrels in the garden to collect run off. And perhaps develop some way of collecting all that condensation in the mornings. It is probably thousands of gallons per city.

  • http://hermosaman.wordpress.com Mik

    We can put a brick or rock in the toilet cistern. Have water barrels in the garden to collect run off. And perhaps develop some way of collecting all that condensation in the mornings. It is probably thousands of gallons per city.

  • http://hermosaman.wordpress.com Mik

    We can put a brick or rock in the toilet cistern. Have water barrels in the garden to collect run off. And perhaps develop some way of collecting all that condensation in the mornings. It is probably thousands of gallons per city.

  • Black Google

    Niice…. especially liked the one about the use of local water sources

  • Black Google

    Niice…. especially liked the one about the use of local water sources

  • Arvind Kumar

    Replace the lawn with a garden full of native plants. They have evolved in the local soil and climate for thousands of years and get by with natural precipitation (when established). Hard to improve on thousands of years of evolution. Here in California, we have a breathtaking diversity of native plants to choose from.

  • Arvind Kumar

    Replace the lawn with a garden full of native plants. They have evolved in the local soil and climate for thousands of years and get by with natural precipitation (when established). Hard to improve on thousands of years of evolution. Here in California, we have a breathtaking diversity of native plants to choose from.

  • Arvind Kumar

    Replace the lawn with a garden full of native plants. They have evolved in the local soil and climate for thousands of years and get by with natural precipitation (when established). Hard to improve on thousands of years of evolution. Here in California, we have a breathtaking diversity of native plants to choose from.

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  • Don

    Let us live in teepees, hunt the wild buffalo, and eat wild nuts and berries.

    Don’t ration water and electricity unless you have to.

    Water. Saving water means higher water prices. Whether you use 1 gallon or 1000 gallons the city still has to maintain the infrastructure. The less you use the higher it’ll cost. If you aren’t in a drought situation use the water.

    Spare capacity.

    As we’ve seen in Georgia people will keep building in an area until they’ve completely run out of resources. If you are already using a bare minimun of water or electricity you have nothing to cutout when everyone else uses your share. Thank god the housing bubble burst and homebuilding declined. The North Texas Water district (dallas and east)knew new houses being built were stretching their water supplies thin, but rather than limiting new building they went searching for more water. In the meantime everyone else was placed on drought condition water restrictions. If drought restrictions are in place its time to stop building your population.

    Electricity. It take a minimum of 5 years to build a new power plant. As we’ve seen capacity planning is a joke. If you’re already sitting in the dark what do you have left to cut back when rationing occurs? Turn off your computer and stop posting. Think of the power saved by people not reading this article.

  • Don

    Let us live in teepees, hunt the wild buffalo, and eat wild nuts and berries.

    Don’t ration water and electricity unless you have to.

    Water. Saving water means higher water prices. Whether you use 1 gallon or 1000 gallons the city still has to maintain the infrastructure. The less you use the higher it’ll cost. If you aren’t in a drought situation use the water.

    Spare capacity.

    As we’ve seen in Georgia people will keep building in an area until they’ve completely run out of resources. If you are already using a bare minimun of water or electricity you have nothing to cutout when everyone else uses your share. Thank god the housing bubble burst and homebuilding declined. The North Texas Water district (dallas and east)knew new houses being built were stretching their water supplies thin, but rather than limiting new building they went searching for more water. In the meantime everyone else was placed on drought condition water restrictions. If drought restrictions are in place its time to stop building your population.

    Electricity. It take a minimum of 5 years to build a new power plant. As we’ve seen capacity planning is a joke. If you’re already sitting in the dark what do you have left to cut back when rationing occurs? Turn off your computer and stop posting. Think of the power saved by people not reading this article.

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  • water garden

    So, about #6 – you do need to say more. What in the hell is a rain garden?

  • water garden

    So, about #6 – you do need to say more. What in the hell is a rain garden?

  • water garden

    So, about #6 – you do need to say more. What in the hell is a rain garden?

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  • Black Google

    Niice…. especially liked the one about the use of local water sources

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