Many local governments are developing plans to reduce their energy and water usage. Most often, these efforts are managed separately. However, energy is embedded in all stages of water use, which creates an opportunity for local governments to work toward both of their goals simultaneously. Water requires energy during the pumping, treating, distribution, heating, and wastewater treatment stages. Thus, every gallon of water saved also saves energy. The development of new water supplies and new water infrastructure can significantly increase a community’s energy demands, and this energy demand should be taken into consideration in municipal water and energy plans.
As communities develop and implement their sustainability plans, they have opportunities to find new ways to connect their water and energy programs while meeting their triple (economic, environmental, and social) bottom line. This fact sheet outlines strategies to address energy use in the water sector and highlights some of the Colorado communities that are making the connection today.