How Saving On Water Can Slim Your Energy Profile

Editor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of EarthFix. Author credit goes to Aaron Kunz of Boise State Public Radio/Idaho Public Television.

A Northwest environmental group has a new twist on water conservation: it’s a way to save energy and shrink your carbon footprint.

Idaho Rivers United monitored 15 water providers in western Idaho to see how much energy they used. It’s the first research of its kind in the country — and it’s attracting attention.

Shower

image via Shutterstock

Liz Paul of Idaho Rivers United says people may think about water when they run their shower or flush their toilet. But not the energy implications. Paul hopes the information gives the public a new way of thinking about the water they use.

Paul says domestic homes in Western Idaho alone consumed 1 billion kilowatt hours of energy through water use. That could power more than 79,000 homes for a year.

Mark Snider is with the Boise-based water company, United Water of Idaho. He says saving energy through water conservation is good for customers, his company, and their combined energy footprint.

“Not only do customers see the benefits of conservation reflected in their water bill,” Snider says, “but it reduces the amount of energy that the utility is required to produce and move this water throughout the system.”

John DeVoe with WaterWatch in Oregon says the research offers a fresh approach to water conservation. Some water treatment facilities in Oregon are already doing something about their energy use. They’ve recently installed solar panels to power their plants.

Idaho Rivers United suggest a few ways homeowners can save on both water and energy consumption. Among them: Take shorter hot-water showers. Install water-efficient appliances and toilets. Insulate hot water pipes.

Read the entire report, Treasure Valley Energy Outlook: Why Domestic Water Use Matters.

EarthFix is an innovative public media partnership of Pacific Northwest stations, creating media across multiple platforms, helping citizens examine environmental issues unfolding in their own backyards and to explore how local actions intersect with national issues.