Climate-change-induced energy and water use increase in water distribution systems

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Climate change is raising the world’s temperature, thereby causing residents to use more water for uses such as drinking and irrigation. This increase in water usage causes municipal water distribution systems (WDS) to use more electricity for pumping. In addition to the increased greenhouse gases emitted by coal-powered electricity generation, there will be a need for water system managers to increase their electricity budgets. This study uses computer modelling of fifteen different water distribution systems to quantify how much additional energy will be used in the future climate-change temperature scenarios. It was found that the average slope of the energy increase with climate-driven water demand is 0.91 with a minimum for any system of practically nothing and a maximum of 3.46. Water managers can use these values to perform budgetary planning for clime-driven future scenarios.

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Urban Water Journal