Estimating the Carbon Footprint of the Municipal Water Cycle (PDF)
- Author(s): Bakhshi, Ali A.; deMonsabert, Sharon M.
- Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
- Issue Date: May 2012
- Volume / Number: 104, Number 5
- Page(s): E337-E347
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5942/jawwa.2012.104.0064
- Product Number: JAW_0076011
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This research investigated the embodied energy associated with
municipal water use. The feasibility of using a geographic
information system model as a framework for sustainability
planning was evaluated using data from Loudoun County, VA.
The model spatially displays the embodied energy and greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions associated with municipal water and
wastewater service. The embodied energy associated with water
service depends on the topographic characteristics of the
municipality, the efficiency of the water and wastewater treatment
systems, and the efficiency of the pumping stations. GHG
emissions varied with the embodied-energy and energy-generation
characteristics of the power company. Within the study area, the
embodied energy associated with customer water use ranged
from 4.4 to 7.2 MW·h/mil gal. Customer carbon footprints
ranged from 0.01 to 17.93 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The
results of this study contribute to the development of a
standardized approach for estimating the GHG impact of the
municipal water cycle.
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