GEI Report on California’s Water-Energy Nexus

Click to view the complete GEI Report on Water-Energy Options pdf

California’s Water-Energy Nexus: Pathways to Implementation

Through this seminal white paper, GEI outlines the potential strategic role that water and wastewater agencies could play in helping to reduce the energy consumption embedded in the water services we deliver, increasing renewable generation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. GEI summarizes key findings and recommendations from recent studies that suggest that water and wastewater agencies have unique characteristics that could be leveraged through appropriate partnerships to provide significant benefits to the State’s electric system. This white paper is an important report on the water-energy nexus in California.

Energy is a cornerstone resource issue for the 21st century. California has set ambitious goals for increasing its renewable energy (33% by 2020), improving its distributed generation (12,000 megawatts (MW)) of local energy generation by 2020, and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (20% by 2020). e investments California makes over the next few decades to improve energy eciency, expand renewable sources of energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels will profoundly shape the State’s future economy and quality of life.

Since the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued its landmark nding in 2005 – that water-related energy uses account for about 19% of all electricity and 30% of non-power plant natural gas used within the state – California’s water and energy sectors have been collaborating on strategies for achieving the incremental resource, economic and environmental benefits that can be found at the intersection of water, energy and climate. In 2006, a multi-agency Water-Energy Team was established to assist the Governor’s Climate Action Team in identifying and promulgating statewide strategies for reducing water-sector greenhouse gases (GHGs).