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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2011-05-19 12:00:00
    • Article ID: 576976

    Water Conservation Can Save Energy and Reduce Pollution

    MEDIA INQUIRIES:

    UC Berkeley Law: Susan Gluss, sgluss@law.berkeley.edu, 510-642-6936

    UCLA Law: Lauri Gavel, gavel@law.ucla.edu, 310-206-2611

    MEDIA INTERVIEWS:

    Ethan Elkind, elkind@law.berkeley.edu, 510-643-3701

    Berkeley, CA, May 19, 2011 – Consumers may not be aware of the connection between water and energy consumption, or the greenhouse gases emitted as a byproduct. A new report, Drops of Energy: Conserving Urban Water in California to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, explains the link, and offers steps state leaders and consumers can take to reduce water consumption and save energy. Drops of Energy is a joint project of the University of California, Berkeley, and UCLA Schools of Law.

    The state uses large amounts of energy to pump, treat and deliver water to consumers, who use even more energy to heat and use the water at home. According to the California Energy Commission, the consumption of water in California requires approximately 20 percent of the state’s electricity, 30 percent of its non-power plant natural gas and 88 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with water-related energy consumption total more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent gases.

    “Water use means energy use, therefore conserving water means conserving energy,” said report author Ethan Elkind, Climate Change Research Fellow at UCLA Law and Berkeley Law. “Most of the energy consumption from water comes from consumer use of household appliances like dishwashers and hot water heaters. These appliances are very energy-intensive, so conservation at home offers the greatest energy- and money-saving potential.”

    Water conservation is even more critical as the effects of climate change begin to emerge. California has already experienced altered precipitation patterns, a reduction in winter snow and unpredictable water supplies. In addition, rising sea levels from global warming and glacial melting threaten to inundate coastal groundwater supplies and sever critical links in the state’s water infrastructure.

    “Consumers will increasingly have to make better use of less water,” said Cara Horowitz, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Executive Director of UCLA Law’s Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment. “Through improved practices, California’s water utilities and users have an opportunity to help slow climate change by reducing water and energy consumption.”

    The report identifies key obstacles to conserving water and recommends, among other things: the expansion of energy-efficiency funding programs, such as a public goods surcharge on water bills and on-bill financing to help water consumers pay for water efficiency improvements; and the implementation of rate structures that encourage and reward water use efficiency.

    The recommendations are the result of a business and climate change workshop convened by the UCLA and UC Berkeley Law schools. Participants included water experts, public officials, academics, environmentalists and business leaders. It was the seventh in a series of workshops funded by Bank of America as part of its 10-year environmental initiative on climate change. The workshops are organized by the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment and the Environmental Law Center at UCLA School of Law, and the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

    To read a full copy of “Drops of Energy,” visit the Berkeley Law website or the UCLA Law website.

    UCLA School of Law, founded in 1949, is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu.

    University of California, Berkeley, School of Law: For over a century, Berkeley Law has prepared lawyers to be skilled and ethical problem-solvers. The law school's curriculum - one of the most comprehensive and innovative in the nation - offers its J.D. and advanced degree candidates a broad array of nearly 200 courses. Students collaborate with leading scholars and practitioners working on interdisciplinary issues at more than a dozen centers, institutes and clinical programs within its Boalt Hall complex. For more information, visit www.law.berkeley.edu and follow us on Twitter.

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    AI for Plant Breeding in an Ever-Changing Climate

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    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU receives $9.8 million in Solar Energy Technologies Office Awards.

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    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart selected to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40"

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    Lab-Wide Stormwater Capture, Transportation Savings and Clean-Up Efforts Win Federal Recognition

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    Argonne National Laboratory has won a regional Federal Green Challenge award for conserving resources and saving taxpayers' money.

    PPPL wins $70,000 in project funding from DOE for entrepreneurship

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    Brookhaven-Commonwealth Fusion Energy Project Wins DOE Funding

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    U.S. Department of Energy to Hold Fifth CyberForce Competition(tm)

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    Going on its fourth year, DOE's CyberForce Competition(tm) on Nov. 15-16 will give teams of cybersecurity students and professionals the opportunity to compete and refine their skills in real-time at 10 national laboratories across the U.S.

    Daniel Gruen awarded 2019 Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC

    Daniel Gruen awarded 2019 Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC

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    DOE Announces FY 2020 Small Business Innovation Research Funding Opportunity

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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

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    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

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    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

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    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

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    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

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    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

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