Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: Panel of Experts Creates a Blueprint for Action in the United States
Conserve Water and Conserve Energy
For the past 30 years, strategies to conserve energy and increase the efficiency of energy use have been widely pursued. Similar efforts in the conservation and efficient use of water have occurred over the past 20-plus years. However, the two communities have historically not worked together in a coherent, collaborative manner, and instead generally created separate but parallel efforts. These separate activities could realize significant benefits from coordination.
A Collaborative Effort
Recognizing this need for collaborative actions, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) secured a grant from the Turner Foundation to bring these two communities together to establish a blueprint for future joint efforts and to envision a policy agenda that could drive actions at the federal, state, local, and watershed levels.
The blueprint addresses three broad elements: policy/codes, research, and programs. In developing it, AWE and ACEEE have analyzed and consolidated contributions from over fifty thought-leaders from across the energy and water efficiency communities, many of whom participated in a full-day workshop on December 9, 2010. The goal of this blueprint and policy agenda is to provide a framework for collaborative action, funding, and policy development.
“With the publication of this blueprint, the water and energy efficiency communities are committing to work together to achieve the substantial economic and environmental benefits that can result from increased efficiency,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE.
What Needs to Be Done
The blueprint strives to learn from the experiences of both the energy and water communities, building on existing policies, programs, and relationships. The blueprint also contains a policy agenda describing the opportunities available for policymakers at every level of government.
“In simple terms, every drop of water saved, saves energy, and every kilowatt of electricity saved, saves water,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, President and CEO of AWE. “The nexus between energy and water has not received the national research and policy attention that it deserves. With this blueprint, we have brought together voices from both the energy and the water communities to outline what now needs to be done.”
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Posted May 2011