Conserving Water Reduces GHG Emissions
& Decreases Carbon Footprint
According to a recent report published in Environmental Research Letters, conserving water does more good for the environment than previously understood. The findings were the result of a UC Davis study that examined the knock-on effects of saving water. Beyond the obvious benefits of managing water use, the study also proved that reducing water consumption conserved a tremendous amount of energy, which thereby reduced GHG emissions.
In the midst of a 4-year drought, California Governor, Jerry Brown challenged the state to reduce water usage by 25%. Conservation measures and restrictions were put in place from June 2015 to April 2016, and the results were astounding.
Not only did residents save 524 billion gallons of water, but they also saved 1,830 gigawatt hours of electricity, equivalent to the electricity required to power 274,000 homes for a year. These energy savings translated to a reduction of 521,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of taking nearly 110,000 cars off the road for a year.
How did conserving water save this much energy? This answer lies in the process that goes into getting water from its source to your house, to your business, and to your school. It lies in the process it takes to treat water, to clean water, and to direct water. And each of these processes require energy, and a lot of it. A previous study done in California found that nearly 19% of the state’s electricity demand comes from the exact process mention above. The less water you have to pump or treat, the less electricity you need to use.
And the less electricity you need, the less pollution and Greenhouse Gases you produce, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. This proves that even a local community’s water conservation efforts can have positive effects on a global scale. All of this is important to remember as California edges towards its second drought in seven years. And despite the challenges that inevitably lie ahead, the water conservation measures Californians took previously not only worked, but will work again.
So take shorter showers and turn the water off when brushing your teeth. Learn about incentive programs offered and consider Rebates for water conservation products, such as waterless urinals. WhiffAway USA’s new waterless urinal technologies make saving water hassle-free and cost-effective, making it easier than ever to reduce GHG emissions and decrease your carbon footprint.