Sandians Published in American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology

December 11, 2014 12:13 pm Published by

Vince Tidwell and Barbie Moreland and Katie Zemlick recently published “Geographic Footprint of Electricity Use for Water Services in the Western U.S.” in Environmental Science & Technology.

A significant fraction of our nation’s electricity use goes to lift, convey, and treat water, while the resulting expenditures on electricity represent a key budgetary consideration for water service providers. Their study’s goal was to improve understanding of the electricity-for-water interdependency by mapping the electricity used in providing water services at the regional, state, and county levels for the 17-conterminous states in the Western US.

This study was unique in estimating electricity use for large-scale conveyance and agricultural pumping as well as mapping these electricity uses along with that for drinking and wastewater services at a state and county level. Their results indicate that drinking and wastewater account for roughly 2% of total Western electricity use, while an additional 1.2% is consumed by large-scale conveyance projects and 2.6% is consumed by agricultural pumping.

These results support long-term transmission planning in the Western US by characterizing an important component of the electric load.

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