The Australian Water Association has released a new position paper on water efficiency to coincide with National Water Week.
AWA CEO, Mr Tom Mollenkopf, said that it is important to remember that although we have had a recent abundance of rain on the east coast, our climate is variable and volatile and this is why the theme for National Water Week this year is valuing water.
“The Water Efficiency Position Paper highlights how paramount water efficiency is in how we use our most valuable resource. This is particularly so as climate change and population growth will mean that in future more will need to be done with less”, Mr Mollenkopf said.
The report considers the energy efficiency gains to be made through greater water efficiency, including efficient pumping, stating; ‘there is a direct link between water consumption and energy consumption. Energy consumption will likely rise as the population increases and as water sources that are more energy intensive are utilised (e.g. water sourced from remote locations requiring pumping and the use of lower quality water that requires energy intensive treatment including wastewater, stormwater and ocean water).
” On a network distribution scale, less energy is required to treat and pump water from the supply dam, groundwater source or recycling facility and on-site. Water distribution pump sizes can also be optimised to match demand levels better”
The key points from the position paper include:
• Water efficiency is an economically viable way to enhance water security in many circumstances.
Saving water can reduce capital costs as well as operational expenditure.
• Saving water is also a viable way of saving energy. Through saving water there is less need to pump as much water, heat as much water, as well as using energy to build new, and maintain existing, infrastructure.
• Australia’s climate is highly variable and emerging pressures such as population growth will affect the security of water supplies in ways that are difficult to predict. A changing climate will exacerbate these pressures. Flexibility is required to deliver effective solutions, and opportunities to achieve greater water efficiency must always be part of these solutions.
• Water efficiency must be considered equally with supply-side options in the development of any strategy to improve long term water supply security.
The full report can be read here.