Project #5188

Establishing Industry-Wide Guidance for Water Utility Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Harry Zhang, PhD, PE
US Water Alliance
Climate Change
Integrated Planning & Water Management
Utility Management


In light of increasing pressure from the global community to reduce GHG emissions and more frequent extreme climate events, the water sector has begun to align itself with national targets for meeting the Paris Agreement and reducing GHG emissions. Numerous water utilities across the globe now have net zero goals. For water utilities to develop meaningful climate action strategies and measure their progress toward net zero, it is critical for them to first understand what the GHG emissions are for each part of their operations and understand how they can change month to month and year to year. This information is critical because it will provide an understanding of what levers they can pull to reduce those emissions. GHG inventories are the foundation for developing and implementing climate action plans.

The overarching objective of the project is to develop a consensus-based, industry-facing guidance document and spreadsheet tool for water utility greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting.