California’s Water-Energy Nexus Studied in White Paper

water-energy nexus

A white paper on actions that can be undertaken by California’s water sector to help achieve the state’s energy efficiency and environmental goals is now available online. The paper, called California’s Water-Energy Nexus: Pathways to implementation, was written on behalf of the Water-Energy Team of the Governor’s Climate Action Team (WET-CAT). The report was prepared by GEI Consultants, Inc. and funded in part by ACWA.

In a preface to the report, Martha Davis and Grant Davis, chair and vice chair respectively of ACWA’s Energy Committee, called the paper an important work that outlines the potential strategic role that water and wastewater agencies could play in helping to reduce the energy consumption embedded in the water services, increase renewable generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They noted, however, that not all water and wastewater agencies have the same options, opportunities or flexibility to take action.

“From operational to fiscal to staffing concerns, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the state’s water-energy programs and policies will not work,” the preface states. “Water and wastewater agencies are responsible for ensuring that the actions they take to contribute to statewide goals are locally cost effective and supported by their ratepayers. For this reason, the information and recommendations in this white paper represent an important first step in securing the policy and infrastructure synergies that the energy-water nexus naturally promotes.”

Frances Spivy-Weber, vice chair of the State Water Resources Control Board and co-chair of the multi-agency WET-CAT, said of the paper in a press release announcing its release:

“Fully harvesting the benefits of California’s water-energy-climate nexus will require shedding historical silos in favor of cross-cutting investment models and criteria. The path will not be simple, but our needs are now urgent. This paper is a call to action. WET-CAT is prepared to help pave the way.”

The white paper is available here