All utilities use copious amounts of energy and water, including water providers. It’s a double-edged sword — the sector provides water while increasing water risks during production and distribution because they use oil and gas. Therefore, renewable energy can remove the water risks while keeping availability consistent.
Treating water and providing it to customers generates water waste and requires constant power connectivity. Disruption to critical infrastructure like this causes distress in communities, primarily during extreme weather events when utilities are most vital. Phasing out fossil fuels feels impossible, so water utilities need to transition to renewable energy to adapt as soon as possible.
Maintaining current flow is crucial — filling gaps by empowering water utilities with clean energy is even more vital. Energy management strategies that prioritize greener energy generation are a must for companies to keep customers and meet climate demands from governments and regulatory agencies, such as the International Water Association measuring carbon emissions against leakage.
Relying on coal or natural gas encourages more catastrophic weather events and higher water demand. If water utilities don’t implement renewable energy now, they risk having more outages than before. Water availability equals energy security and vice versa.
Water companies have a few green energies to pick from, with solar being one of the most popular, alongside wind and geothermal. Other actions are necessary for a successful renewable transition besides partnering with these energy providers to run their operations.
The first is to reduce energy consumption overall. Renewable energy infrastructure and the grid cannot support how much energy strain providers place on nations. Therefore, for their options to be sustainable, water utilities must reach a compromise by reducing waste and increasing efficiency. They can use several measuring options, from sensors to artificial intelligence. It will implement more practical and less expensive renewables, setting a realistic and manageable standard to adopt renewables for large-scale utilities.
Additionally, they must reinforce operations to reduce carbon waste, which is a waste of energy as well. Acknowledging carbon leakage emissions and spreading awareness to other corporations will be a boon for water conservation and emissions reduction.
Transitioning is also lucrative for water utilities, especially ones struggling to stay profitable and stable. The most mutually beneficial way to implement more renewable energy is to take advantage of these credits and tax incentives provided by federal and state governments.
Eco-friendly technological advancement will progress more smoothly. Innovations like carbon capture and biofuels require immense amounts of water and even more energy. It’s a challenge to justify allocating water to these green advancements when it already requires so much energy strain to produce and get it there.
Renewable energy could bridge the gap between water-intensive green tech for quicker corporate and governmental buy-in.
These actions will have gradual and inadvertent consequences for fossil fuel companies — the more water available to funnel into green projects, the less allocated to coal, natural gas and oil enterprises. Moving water away from fossil fuels could release 687 billion gallons of water yearly.
A spike in renewable energy usage by water utilities could correlate with a significant decrease in emissions from fossil fuels because of inadequate water — forcing the clean energy transition further.
Implementing renewable energy extends beyond a solar panel or wind turbine in a water utility facility. It requires attention to energy expenditure and water waste while considering global water concerns. Moving to renewable energy is a way to reduce water-related risks and increase energy independence worldwide. Water and energy’s inherent symbiosis will become apparent, and utility providers adjust to adopt clean power.