A new project report titled, ‘Drops of Energy: Conserving Urban Water in California to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,’ emphasizes the need for saving water to save energy and to cut down green house gas discharges.
The report is an outcome of a joint project performed by the UCLA Schools of Law and University of California, Berkeley. The report finds that the state utilizes more quantity of energy for pumping; purifying and delivering the water to the residents and the home owners utilize further more energy to heat and make use of the water at home.
According to a report from the California Energy Commission, the state utilizes around 20% of the generated electricity, 88 million gallons of diesel and 30% natural gas towards meeting the water consumption requirements of its residents every year. It also states that the discharge of carbon dioxide or other gases related to such energy use amounts to over 100 million metric tons. The report mentions that most of the water related energy consumption at the households is related to the use of energy intensive appliances such as hot water heaters and dishwasher appliances and minimizing the use of such appliances has the potential to save energy and money.
The report points out that saving of water is more significant due to emerging climate changes such as reduced level of winter snow, changed precipitation patterns and erratic water supplies experienced by the state. It cautions about the increasing sea levels due to global warming and melting of glaciers flooding the water supply systems at coastal districts thus affecting the water facilities in the state.
The report also includes the recommendations suggested in the various workshops conducted by the UCLA and UC Berkeley Law schools on climatic changes and participated by water experts, academics, public officials, business leaders and environmentalists. Some of the recommendations include public goods surcharge on water bills, bills seeking the water consumers to pay for the improvements of water efficiency and implementation of a water rate structure that rewards and encourages efficient usage of water.