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Survey of Energy Requirements for Public Water Supply in the United States

  • Author(s): Sowby, Robert B.; Burian, Steven J.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: July 2017
  • Volume / Number: 109, Number 7
  • Page(s): E320-E330
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0084892
Full Text: pdf

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National studies on drinking water systems’ energy requirements are sparse, and only limited empirical data have been available. This study adds considerable spatial and temporal detail to better characterize the requirements in the continental United States. Annual water use and energy use observations were collected from a panel of 109 water systems. The data show that the energy intensity of public water supply exhibits (1) an approximate log-normal distribution; (2) regional patterns, with higher intensities in the western United States than the eastern United States; (3) significant interannual variations, with mixed increases and decreases; and (4) relationships to location, water source type, and system size that can be used to estimate energy intensities for other systems. Improved data collection is recommended. The data here contribute to several well-documented research needs and will facilitate further study of the water–energy nexus with benefits to federal agencies, researchers, local water utilities, and national security practitioners.

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