Developing Tools and Strategies for Improved Water Utility Energy Efficiency and Integrated Water-Energy Planning

Jun 6, 2019

Energy is usually the second-highest cost item of a water utility’s operating budget. Many opportunities exist for the design and operational optimization of electricity use for water supply and treatment. The energy landscape is rapidly changing due to climate change impacts, state legislative incentives for energy efficiency, increasing use and decreasing cost of renewable energy, and the politicization of climate change. For these reasons, this Research Area was initiated in 2012. Since then, eight projects were funded under this Research Area and much progress has been made in advancing knowledge related to the three objectives below. The Research Areas was discontinued in 2017 but there is potential for another energy-related Focus Area in the future.


Research Area Objectives

  1. Provide data, tools and knowledge for water utilities to reduce energy demand and energy costs.
  2. Identify and demonstrate opportunities for water utilities to optimize use of renewable energy.
  3. Identify opportunities to integrate multi-sector basin-wide planning across all water user groups (i.e., urban, agricultural, power) and energy providers to result in integrated water-energy planning.


Research Area Project Timeline and Value

Electricity Use & Management in the Water Supply and WW Industries 

  • Timeline: 2012–2013
  • Total Project Value: $250,000
  • Research Area Objectives: Reduce Energy, Water-Energy Planning

Water & Electric Utility Integrated Planning

  • Timeline: 2012–2017
  • Total Project Value: $297,340
  • Research Area Objectives: Water-Energy Planning

Green Energy and Life Cycle Assessment Tool Version 2

  • Timeline: 2013–2016
  • Total Project Value: $478,704
  • Research Area Objectives: Optimize Renewables

Performance Benchmarking of Pumps & Pumping Systems for Drinking Water Utilities

  • Timeline: 2015–2017
  • Total Project Value: $547,103
  • Research Area Objectives: Reduce Energy

Opportunities& Barriers for Distributed Energy Resource Development at Water and Wastewater Utilities

  • Timeline: 2015–2018
  • Total Project Value: $369,275
  • Research Area Objectives: Reduce Energy, Optimize Renewables, Water-Energy Planning

Assessment of Public Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Wastewater Energy Projects

  • Timeline: 2015–2017
  • Total Project Value: $244,990
  • Research Area Objectives: Reduce Energy, Optimize Renewables

Managing Water& Wastewater Utility Data to Reduce Energy Consumption and Cost

  • Timeline: 2016–2018
  • Total Project Value: $346,667
  • Research Area Objectives: Reduce Energy

4718-Battery Storage System Guidance for Water/Wastewater

  • Timeline: 2017–2018
  • Total Project Value: $110,000
  • ResearchArea Objectives: Reduce Energy

Cumulative Project Value for Research Area (to date): $2,644,079


Projects Funded Outside of the Research Area Program that meet a Research Area Objective

Implementing Renewable Energy Case Studies

  • Year Completed: 2012
  • Funding Program: EO
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy, Optimize Renewables

Seawater Desalination Energy Consumption Modeling

  • Year Completed: 2014
  • Funding Program: TC
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy

Drinking Water Pump Station Design and Operation for Maximum Life Cycle Energy Efficiency

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: RAC
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy

Optimization of Energy and Water Quality Management Systems

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: Partnership (CEC)
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy

Energy Research Roadmap

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: Partnership (CEC)
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy, Optimize Renewables, Water-Energy Planning

Energy Recovery from PRV Stations Using In-Line Hydrokinetic Turbines

  • Year Completed: 2016
  • Funding Program: TC
  • RA Objectives: Optimize Renewables

Renewable Energy in the Water/Wastewater Industries UKWIR Partnership

  • Year Completed: 2016
  • Funding Program: Partnership (UKWIR)
  • RA Objectives: Optimize Renewables

Water Watts: Wastewater Power Metering Data

  • Year Completed: 2017
  • Funding Program: Partnership (UKWIR)
  • RA Objectives: Reduce Energy




EO = Emerging Opportunities

RAC = Research Area Council

TC = Tailored Collaboration

Project Status

Year Initiated: 2012

Year Completed: 2018


Advisory Committee Members

  • Shahid Chaudhry, California Energy Commission
  • Andre de Fontaine, U. S. Department of Energy
  • Tim Ellis, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • Robert Goldstein, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Delon Kwan, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Vasu Veerapeneni, Black and Veatch.