When Water and Electricity Do Mix
New Jersey American Water President Shares Four Facts You Didn’t Know About the “Water-Energy Nexus”
It’s commonly understood that water and electricity don’t mix. New Jersey American Water President William M. Varley told an audience that is not always the case while delivering the keynote remarks at the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey’s Utility Infrastructure Summit last Friday.“ There is a definite mutual relationship, a water-energy nexus that exists between water and power,” he said. “They depend a great deal on each other.” Varley shared four facts about this nexus that most people are unaware of.
1. It takes a lot of water to make power. Nearly a quarter of the nation’s water is used for hydroelectric generation. And, it takes a significant amount of power to move water, as about 2 to 4 percent of the nation’s power is used to treat and pump water and wastewater through the country’s complex network of pipes
2. Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon. So it takes a lot of energy to move water from its source to customers. “The average household uses about 250 gallons of water, more than a ton, each day,” said Varley. “We produce, on average, 330 million gallons of treated water each day (about 1.4 million tons). Delivering that to our customers requires a tremendous amount of power.
3. About 25 percent of the treated water produced across the nation never makes it to customers. It is lost, largely through leaks in the network of aging water mains. “Think of the amount of energy that is wasted in moving and then losing that water,” he said. “If we can reduce the leaks, we will be wasting less energy.
4. Nearly all of the water industry’s power is used in pumping. Nationally, these pumps are, on average, only about 50 percent efficient. “If all the pumps in the all the water systems in the State of New Jersey could be upgraded and improved to 80 percent efficiency, it would save enough energy to light the homes in Camden County for six months,” said Varley.
New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
New Jersey American Water
Richard Barnes, 856-782-2371