SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Solutions to Water Woes
The good news is that solutions do exist to tackle climate change while also protecting our region’s water resources. Two solutions that are readily at hand include promoting energy efficiency measures and wide-spread deployment of renewable energy resources.
Energy Efficiency & Conservation: According to a study by the state of Georgia, reducing electricity use through energy efficiency measures has the immediate impact of reducing water required by power plants.
Individual actions can also achieve water savings though typically not as much as cost-effective, high impact measures that reduce a lot of electricity demand. EnergyStar appliances use less energy and water. Energy Star washing machines, for example, require approximately 50% less energy per load and use 30-50% less water than a typical model.
Renewable Energy: Clean, renewable energy alternatives are not only no- or low-carbon options but will also preserve water resources as they are generally much less water-intensive than fossil fuel and nuclear plants.
As an example, in 2008 according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, developing 1000 MW of wind in Georgia would save 1628 million gallons of water per year. The wind potential has only increased since then given new technologies and better monitoring — so much water savings could be tapped!
What SACE is doing
- SACE continues to call on regional energy regulators to put the brakes on utility plans that would waste even more of our scarce water supplies with proposed new coal and especially new nuclear power plants for which several proposals are either under-construction or being considered;
- SACE advocates for no- or low-carbon, less water-intensive energy choices such as energy efficiency and conservation and renewables including wind and solar;
- SACE is conducting research and compiling information across the region related to the energy-water connection; and
- SACE is an active partner in the Georgia Water Coalition (over 220 organizations strong in 2015) that is working to ensure that water is managed fairly for all Georgians, with the interest of all citizens, existing businesses and farms in mind. Find the Coalition’s 2015 recommendations for a healthy water future here.