Taking on Water Challenge: Week 3 – Conserve Energy

With a carbon footprint comes a water footprint. Every time you turn on the light switch, not only are you consuming energy and adding to your carbon footprint, you are also increasing your water footprint. Electricity production requires tremendous volumes of water to power steam-generated turbines and to cool equipment. In fact, more than half the total water withdrawals in the U.S. each year feed our electrical grid. In some regions of the country, these withdrawals for electricity production are contributing to water stress.

The volume of water required depends upon the energy source. A recent study by The River Network, Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity, estimates that it requires between zero and 231 gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electricity produced using wind and PV solar technology, and between 14,811 and 440,000 gallons per megawatt-hour for hydropower, coal and nuclear. On average, the water footprint of the electricity we use is about 42 gallons per kilowatt-hour (or 42,000 gallons per megawatt-hour), and the monthly energy use of the average household translates to nearly 40,000 gallons of water—five times the direct water use of that same household.

Conserving energy—turning off lights, insulating your hot water heater, and using Energy Star appliances—then, conserves water. This week’s Taking on Water Challenge is to switch out just one incandescent bulb for an energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent one, saving about 42 gallons of water per week, or almost 2,200 gallons per year.

For more information see:

Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity

See introductory information on the Taking on Water Challenge: Reduce your Water Footprint here, the Week 1 Challenge: Eat Less Meat here, and the Week 2 Challenge: Waste Less Food here. To enter to win the Taking on Water Challenge, pledge to decrease your water footprint by leaving a comment.

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To Enter

Full official contest rules and guidelines are here. Contest begins January 29, 2013. Entries must be received no later than March 11, 2013, 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time.

• Enter for the chance to win a copy of Taking on Water and a water reduction kit for your home (Approximate Retail Value $130).

• No purchase necessary.

• Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, ages 18 or older.

• Contest begins January 29, 2013. Entries must be received no later than March 11, 2013, 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time.

• The winner will be selected on or about March 15, 2013.

• Void where prohibited by law.

Entries must be made in the comments section on Wendy Pabich’s blog, www.waterdeva.com. Entries must include the following (Incomplete entries will not be considered):

▪ Name (first and last)

▪ Email Address

▪ A brief comment pledging to decrease your water footprint

Optional: A link to a blog post or photograph can be included, but is not necessary for entry.

 

8 comments to Taking on Water Challenge: Week 3 – Conserve Energy

  • Richard McLellan

    Easy to say. Easy to do: Reduce energy, reduce water, reduce waste. They are all interconnected.

  • Tamara Winstead

    It is ncessary for the state of the world for us all to grab hold of these few simple rules.It comes down to just using what you need.Period.If everyone used only what they needed and kept others as well as the environment in mind it would solve ALOT.The problem is the excess and lack of responsibility to others as well as the world.Such simple rules could save so much.

  • [...] Taking on Water Challenge: Week 3 – Conserve Energy [...]

  • jill lutz

    I already try to reduce my water consumption as much as possible, and stay mindful on a daily basis. I think about it whenever I use it. I scrub up the dishes with the water off and then turn it on to rinse, I do the same when I take a shower (and use a low flow shower head). Going number #1 doesn’t have to be flushed every time. I try to run the washer on one rinse cycle as much as possible. And I do all these things because I read about them, and it makes me feel guilty not to conserve, not to try to make a difference. It’s unfortunate that it seems so many people are not open to these simple changes/practices.
    And I just learned something new today by reading about changing the light bulbs makes a difference in water consumption(challenge). And I have done that too, but I never really thought about the connection of the too that much.
    I am glad this book is available, and I am looking forward to doing the challenges.

  • [...] Less Meat here, the Week 2 Challenge: Waste Less Food here, the Week 3 Challenge: Conserve Energy here, and the Week 4 Challenge: Fix Leaks here. To enter to win the Taking on Water Challenge, pledge to [...]

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