May 17, 2012: Idaho Rivers United has released a new report, "Treasure Valley Energy Outlook: Why Domestic Water Use Matters." The report is based on local research and it establishes that significant amounts of energy are embedded in domestic water in the Treasure Valley, especially hot water. The report contains a number of recommendations on how Treasure Valley communities can extend existing supplies of energy, reduce the regional carbon footprint, protect water resources and enjoy long lasting economic benefits.
Do you know how much energy you use every time you take a shower or use drinking water to water your lawn? Energy is used to collect, treat and deliver water to your home, energy is used to heat water in your home, and energy is used to collect and treat your wastewater. Using water efficiently in your home saves energy and water and helps reduce greenhouse gas emmissions, climate change, and the resultant stress on Idaho's rivers and fish.
The Water-Energy Connection There is a direct connection between energy use, water use, global warming and river health. Coal, gas and nuclear power plants consume vast amounts of water, often depleting rivers and aquifers. Hydropower reservoirs lose water through evaporation. Most power plants also release greenhouse gases that cause global warming imperiling river ecosystems. Learn more about the Water-Energy Connection and Water-Energy Collision.
Increase Efficiency, Decrease Carbon Installing WaterSense appliances in your home benefits our rivers and reduces greenhouse gas pollution. You'd be surprised how much electricity leaks away unnecessarily. Here are just a few reasons to replace your old washing machine, dishwasher, showerhead, or toilet with a high-efficiency model: • The EPA estimates that if just 1% of American homes replaced their older, inefficient toilets with WaterSense models, the country would save over 38 million kWh of electricity—enough to supply more than 43,000 households electricity for one month. • If every U.S. household replaced its major water-using fixtures and appliances with energy-efficient models, carbon emissions would be reduced by 5.6 million metric tons per year.
The link between water and energy presents us with a valuable opportunity to better manage two of our most valuable resources. As the U.S. struggles to reduce its carbon emissions in response to global warming, investments in water efficiency are highly cost-effective. Watch this short Stop Wasting Energy! presentation developed by Mike Purcell to get ideas on cutting energy waste at your house. You can gain a better understanding of the energy that can be saved by saving water by using the tools in River Network's Water~Energy Toolkit.
Schedule a presentation on the energy-water connection. Idaho Rivers United has a great presentation on the connection between water, energy and climate change, and we would love to bring it to your group or class. Please contact Liz Paul to schedule a presentation or for more information.
IRU Joins Idaho Energy Collaborative! Idaho Rivers United is a member of the Idaho Energy Collaborative to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. We are involved for two main reasons:
1. Rivers are the ground zero for climate change. Addressing climate change is a critical component of our work to protect Idaho's rivers and fish.
2. There is a strong relationship between energy and water that is not commonly understood. Reducing water use also reduces energy use and the production of greenhouse gases.