Water and energy are interconnected. A frequent term to describe
this relationship is the “water-energy nexus.”
Energy for Water: Energy is needed to store water, get it where
it is needed and also treat it to be used:
* Extracting water from rivers and streams or pumping it
from aquifers, and then conveying it over hills and into storage
facilities is a highly energy intensive process. The State Water
Project (SWP) pumps water 700 miles, including up nearly 2,000
feet over the Tehachapi Mountains. The SWP is the largest single
user of energy in California. It consumes an average of 5 billion
kWh per year. That’s about 2 to 3 percent of all electricity
consumed in California
* Water treatment facilities use energy to pump and process
water for use in homes, businesses and industry
* Consumers use energy to treat water with softeners or
filters, to circulate and pressurize water and to heat and cool
* Wastewater plants use energy to pump wastewater to
treatment plants, and also to aerate and filter it at the plant.
Different end uses require more electricity for delivery than
others. Water for residential, commercial and industrial end-use
needs the most energy (11 percent), followed by agricultural
end-use (3 percent), residential, commercial and industrial
supply and treatment (3 percent), agricultural water supply and
treatment (1 percent) and wastewater treatment (1 percent),
according to the California Energy Commission.
Water for Energy: Water is used to generate electricity
* Water is needed either to process raw materials used in a
facility or maintaining a plant,or to just generate electricity
Overall, the electricity industry is second only to agriculture
as the largest user of water in the United States. Electricity
production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy requires 190,000
million gallons of water per day, accounting for 39 percent of
all freshwater withdrawals in the nation. Coal, the most abundant
fossil fuel, currently accounts for 52 percent of U.S.
electricity generation, and each kWh generated from coal requires
withdrawal of 25 gallons of water.
This three-day, two-night tour explored the lower Colorado River
where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand
is growing from myriad sources — increasing population,
declining habitat, drought and climate change.
The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in
the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin
states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this
water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial
needs is the focus of this tour.
Best Western McCarran Inn
4970 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
The success of solar and wind energy in California is having a
surprising side effect: It may be undercutting revenue for
hydroelectric dams, the longtime stalwart of “green” energy in
the West. Four years ago, officials at the California
Independent System Operator (ISO), which manages electricity
demand across the state, identified a phenomenon called the
As state lawmakers debate far-reaching bills that could reshape
the energy landscape in California and across the West,
some groups are urging the Legislature to require new
geothermal power plants at the Salton Sea before a key deadline
Tuesday* night — but those groups can’t agree on what the
geothermal mandate should look like.
The growth in renewables has been fueled by scores of new wind
turbines and solar farms. Recent increases in hydroelectric
power as a result of heavy snow and rain in Western states last
winter also provided a boost.
Energy ministers from around the world gathered in Beijing this
week to report increased spending to help counter climate
change. Yet one prominent voice, that of U.S. Energy Secretary
Rick Perry, delivered a starkly countervailing message as the
Trump administration seeks to roll back spending on clean
energy and promote fossil fuels.
After slowing to a trickle during the past five years of
punishing drought, hydroelectric power in California is poised
to make a major comeback this spring and summer, thanks to the
wet winter. Across Northern California, hydroelectricity
producers say their reservoirs are brimming at levels not seen
California’s years-long drought put hydroelectric power flat on
its back. But one of the cleanest and cheapest energy sources
may be poised for a comeback as the state has been drenched
with rain and its mountains blanketed in snow in recent months.
Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Energy
secretary, has close ties to the Texas oil industry and has
corporate roles in two petroleum companies pushing to get
government approval for the proposed 1,200-mile crude oil
pipeline that has stoked mass protests in North Dakota.
With the passage of Measure Z, which has captured nearly 56
percent of the vote so far, Monterey County would become the
first oil-producing county in California to ban fracking and
expansion of risky oil operations. … Monterey County,
which ranks fourth statewide in oil production, becomes the
sixth county in California to ban fracking.
A new frontier in the energy-water nexus is being forged in
Southern California. Teaming up with Advanced Microgrid
Solutions, Irvine Ranch Water District will be using an energy
storage system to reduce its costs and help ease demand on the
grid during peak hours.
Hydropower in the United States is primed for a shakeup. On one
hand, utilities and governments are tearing down old dams with
increasing frequency. … On the other hand, lawmakers and
officials are keen to wring more power from rivers.
Earlier this year, in an announcement that has become more
routine around the world, Suy Sem, Cambodia’s minister of mines
and energy, declared a moratorium on the construction of big
hydropower dams until at least 2020. … Cambodia joins a
lengthening list of nations around the world that are
reassessing big hydropower dams in an era when wind and solar
power are less expensive, much easier to build, less damaging,
and far less vulnerable to droughts and floods.
California has been diligently trying to reduce use of fossil
fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, Gov. Jerry
Brown signed Senate Bill 350, which requires 50 percent of the
electricity from utilities to come from renewable sources by
2030. But it’s not just energy utilities that can add more
renewables to their portfolios – water suppliers can, as well,
although they aren’t mandated to do so.
As debate continues in San Diego County and around the state
over how aggressively to conserve water amid a historic
drought, a new study finds that reductions in urban water
use have saved significant amounts of electricity and reduced
greenhouse gas emissions.
Colorado’s Supreme Court on Monday struck down local government
prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, handing oil
and gas companies a victory in a lengthy battle over energy
production in the environmentally conscious state.
At least at the Salton Sea, the district’s [Imperial
Irrigation District] hardball tactics seem to be working:
There’s been more political progress this year than ever
before. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked for a plan of action, and
several long-stalled pilot projects are finally
What’s holding up the relicensing of Oroville Dam facilities?
Fish. Specifically, an opinion on how three threatened species
might be affected, according to local Department of Water
Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Jimmy Carter, Rahm Emanuel: All
of them were quoted at the Southern California Energy and Water
Summit in Palm Springs on Thursday. But the quote that best
summarized the summit came from Felicia Marcus’ father.
Although the state’s electrical grid has taken a punch from the
drought and record-high summer month temperatures, it has
remained standing. A state mandate to convert from burning oil,
coal and natural gas, which release carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere and contribute to global warming, to solar, wind and
geothermal energy has helped.
Across California this summer, residents have been racking up
water conservation numbers that defy expectations — a 27%
reduction in June, followed by 31.3% in July. … The
conservation performance raises a host of possibilities, and
profound questions, for water policy analysts and managers
Nestled high in the Sierra mountains among the pine and fir
trees, a little-known man-made wonder may help resolve a
pressing energy concern: how to store wind and sun power that
the grid increasingly can’t handle.
Call it a first step. … The Imperial Irrigation District has
released a 260-page document that provides short, medium and
long-term plans to avert a health crises and spur the
development of up to 1,700 megawatts of new geothermal energy
at the Salton Sea.
SMUD’s big bet on a system to store energy by pumping water
uphill just got a little more complicated. The state wants the
Sacramento Municipal Utility District to monitor groundwater at
the site, a remote spot near Camino, for an entire year before
Most of us hardly think about it, but when we turn on the tap,
we’re not just using water — we’re also using energy. And you
may be surprised to learn just how much. … It takes a lot of
power to get water to our taps — conveyance from the source,
treatment, and distribution — not to mention cleaning the
wastewater we send down drains.
The Imperial Irrigation District has filed an antitrust lawsuit
against the manager of most of the state’s electricity grid,
alleging that it is using its monopoly power to limit options
for the district, which is a major player in the effort to
mitigate the shrinking Salton Sea.
Even as [Gov. Jerry] Brown rations water for urban lawns,
computer manufacturing and toilets, California continues to
dedicate enormous amounts of water to producing energy. This
year, 1.3 billion gallons of water are being injected into
oil fields to extract heavy crude — 320 gallons for every
barrel of oil pumped.
A new article by Julian Fulton and Heather Cooley
evaluates the amount of water consumed in meeting
California’s energy needs – also referred to as the water
footprint of energy. The article, published
in Environmental Science and Technology, examines how
the water footprint of energy changed between 1990 and 2012 –
finding that the amount of water consumed substantially
increased over recent decades without utilizing more of the
state’s water resources, but rather by relying more heavily on
water resources from outside the state.
In an environmental study nine years in the making, the State
Water Resources Control Board has proposed lowering the
temperature of the [Feather] river 40 miles below Lake Almanor
through enormous devices known as thermal curtains. … The
thermal curtain project is part of PG&E’s application to
renew licenses on its Feather River hydroelectric projects at
Rock Creek and Cresta.
Modesto Irrigation District leaders Tuesday morning could
revive last year’s drought-combating measures, which enjoyed
only marginal success, for the coming season. … The MID board
Tuesday morning also will continue discussing a historical
inequity in rates that has electricity customers subsidizing
farmers’ water prices.
State lawmakers are preparing a sweeping package of bills that
would fulfill several of Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate change
objectives by increasing California’s reliance on renewable
energy and alternative transportation fuels.
President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request of $13.2
billion for the Department of the Interior continues the
Administration’s strong support for Interior’s core missions,
protecting the nation’s cultural and natural heritage,
responsibly managing energy development on public lands and
waters, investing in science, and honoring the nation’s trust
responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives and our
special commitments to affiliated island communities.
Sacramento State plans to launch a new institute that will
merge environmental science and policymaking, particularly
concerning climate change and water-related issues that
challenge California and the world.
The Department of Water Resources announced on Jan. 8, 2014,
that it has begun using renewable power purchased from a
Dominion Solar Holdings’ solar project to help move water
through the State Water Project.
A meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown and Chevron executives was
ending when an oil company official turned to Mary Nichols,
California’s top regulator for air pollution. … The October
conversation, recalled by Nichols in a recent interview, echoed
many others in her decades-long career as an environmental
lawyer and regulator.
Growing rice requires flooding fields, which produces methane,
a potent greenhouse gas. The California Air Resources Board is
discussing allowing growers to obtain greenhouse gas “offsets”
that could then be sold on the state’s cap and trade market.
Electricity customers of the Turlock Irrigation District will
get a rate increase averaging 2 percent as of Jan. 1, following
a 5-0 vote by its board Tuesday morning. … TID also has
proposed a far larger increase – more than double – in farm
Two actions taken Tuesday – one by the Modesto Irrigation
District Board of Directors and one by the Stanislaus County
Board of Supervisors – show that our elected officials are not
only listening, they are responding.
An intriguing public debate over electricity customers
subsidizing farmers has focused on what the farmers get:
irrigation water at bargain basement prices. Somewhat lost in
the dialogue is how much more power customers are paying – not
just to benefit agriculture, but to keep afloat the Modesto
Irrigation District’s entire operation.
Reclamation is inviting States, Tribes, irrigation districts,
water districts and other organizations with water or power
delivery to apply for a funding opportunity to cost-share on
projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase
the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. The
projects should support water sustainability in the west.
In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin
de León said one of his key priorities will be combating
climate change by setting policies that promote energy
efficiency. … In his speech to the water officials Thursday,
de León also stumped for Proposition 1 …”
The shrinking of the Salton Sea might pose a serious public
health hazard, but it could also boost renewable energy
development in the region, officials said Thursday at the
Southern California Energy Summit.
In the midst of a record-smashing dry cycle in the United
States, the organization with the most influence over state and
federal drought policy wants to do a better job managing the
crisis. … On September 18 and 19, the Western Governors’
Association, a forum for state leaders, will welcome to Norman,
Oklahoma, agency officials, industry representatives, and
technical experts who will offer insight on how a multi-year
drought in the western United States is challenging the energy
This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current
state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an
overview of the geography and history of the river, historical
and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of
the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was
This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership
with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an
excellent overview of climate change and how it is already
affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists
anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and
precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are
underway to plan and adapt to climate.
20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater,
and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and
turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource
through various activities.
Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the
faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close
to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their
water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and
testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to
households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from,
how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality
are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress
A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water:
Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at
community forums and speaking engagements to help the public
understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems
and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to
households throughout the state.
Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is
today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the
fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically
important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system,
there have been some critical events that had a profound impact
on California’s water history. These turning points not only
forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives
of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a
historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped
the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with
background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.
This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays
the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas
and Indian reservations within the Klamath River Watershed. The
map text explains the many issues facing this vast,
15,000-square-mile watershed, including fish restoration;
agricultural water use; and wetlands. Also included are
descriptions of the separate, but linked, Klamath Basin
Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement,
and the next steps associated with those agreements. Development
of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36
inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and
its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and
Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin.
Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the
Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and
wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin
Redesigned in 2017, this beautiful map depicts the seven
Western states that share the Colorado River with Mexico. The
Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
and the country of Mexico. Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch
map, which is suitable for framing, explains the river’s
apportionment, history and the need to adapt its management for
urban growth and expected climate change impacts.
The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people and 4
million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000
square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page
Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the
river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the
items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of
significant Colorado River events.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an
excellent overview of the history of water development and use in
California. It includes sections on flood management; the state,
federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water
rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for
stretching the water supply such as water marketing and
Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all
existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current
net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Catherine Wolfram
and David Zetland:
“Our conservation efforts, even the tiniest ones, have a second
overlooked benefit: They also save energy. Water is essentially
liquid energy. We don’t think about it that way. But every drop
must be moved, treated and heated. Each step takes energy.”
The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in 1964 created Lake Powell.
Both are located in north-central Arizona near the Utah border.
Lake Powell acts as a holding tank for outflow from the Colorado
River Upper Basin States: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
The water stored in Lake Powell is used for recreation, power
generation and delivering water to the Lower Basin states of
California, Arizona, and Nevada.
“On Thursday, the governing board of Sonoma’s new public power
agency plans to set rates for its electricity service, which will
begin in May. Most customers will save money, compared to what
they currently pay Pacific Gas and Electric Co.”
“This is the third year California State Parks has participated
in the nationwide movement of offering First Day Hikes. … “At
the 17-acre Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, docents
expected five to 10 people to show for the hike along the old
canal route leading from the powerhouse to Folsom Dam.”
“The Yuba County Water Agency is filing to renew its operating
license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the
first time since the agency’s creation almost 50 years ago, and
it will dictate how the YCWA will run the Yuba River Development
Project for the next 50 years.”
“While some groups are excited about the what the Yuba County
Water Agency’s FERC relicensing applications contains, other
groups are lamenting what is missing — namely, provisions that
address removing barriers to native spawning habitat for
“As a dry December accentuates the stress on California’s limited
water supplies, the success of the state’s energy sector in
implementing efficiency programs offers valuable lessons to the
water sector. A new report from the Pacific Institute examines
the rules, regulations, and policies that promote energy
efficiency and finds models for water management in drivers like
the energy sector’s appliance standards, building codes, pricing
policies, and utility-sponsored efficiency programs.
“Whether area electricity customers could face higher rates in
2014 was called into question at Tuesday’s Modesto Irrigation
District board meeting, with no clear answer. …
“Also Tuesday, staff presented potential reactions to drought,
and the board continued taking steps to correct mistakes in
expanding a water treatment plant that will cost taxpayers an
extra $24 million.”
“A different legal interpretation could make it easier for the
Modesto Irrigation District to raise electricity prices, the
utility’s lawyer told leaders Monday in their first gathering
since three men were elected to the five-member board. …
“MID leaders last year declined to raise power rates, a
departure from sharp increases every year since 2000, noting
that prices had stabilized for natural gas used to produce
“The boom in oil from shale formations in recent years has
generated a lot of discussion that the United States could
eventually return to energy self-sufficiency, but according to a
report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency,
production of such oil in the United States and worldwide will
provide only a temporary respite from reliance on the Middle
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“A new informational report from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency details just how important water is to the
“Synthesizing recent studies on the topic, ‘The Importance of
Water to the U.S. Economy’ report released this week finds that
energy production, water supply and food production together
account for over 94% of water withdrawals from the nation’s
groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.
“Recent changes to the Imperial Irrigation District’s Residential
Energy Efficiency Rebates program has an IID representative going
to all the city councils in the Imperial Valley to make
presentations on the changes.”
“In honor of the 27th annual anniversary of Public Power Week,
Imperial Irrigation District officials began rolling out a new
energy safety campaign to reach seventh- and eighth-grade
students in the Imperial and Coachella valleys on the
importance of indoor and outdoor electrical safety.
“A newsletter, the ‘Safety Surge,’ has been distributed to
junior high schools, according to a press release from the
Even as California has scaled back education, law enforcement
and assistance to the disabled in this era of financial stress,
the energy program has continued unrestrained and is expected
to grow significantly in coming years.
“State agencies have invested in milk trucks that run on cow
manure, power plants fueled by ocean tides and artificial
photosynthesis for powering vehicles and buildings.
“A U.S.-Canada treaty that governs operations of the
fourth-largest river in North America — affecting everything from
power prices and water supplies to grain shipments and recreation
in the Pacific Northwest — should be renegotiated to make the
system more flexible amid climate change and to aid threatened
and endangered species that weren’t considered when the treaty
was created decades ago, federal regulators recommended in a
draft document released to The Associated Press.”
“This month, California energy regulators proposed requiring
the state’s utility companies to buy more than 1.3 gigawatts of
electricity storage by 2020 – enough electricity to supply
993,750 typical homes at any given instant.
“The storage would help ensure that the lights stay on as
California adds large amounts of solar and wind power – both
highly variable – to its grid. Big energy storage projects
would also cut the number of new fossil-fuel power plants built
in the state.
The Orange County Water District’s board on Thursday will
consider whether to launch negotiations with a company that wants
to build a power plant capable of generating up to 300 megawatts
of energy on the same plot of land where Anaheim city officials
want to open a park that would serve community sports leagues.”
“Because water utilities are dependent on the sale of water to
recoup costs, reduced sales can result in deficits – and per
capita water demand in California has been stagnant or decreasing
for the past several decades. Over the coming years, California
municipal water utilities are required to reduce water use by
20%. Thus, the ‘new normal’ or an era of declining demand and
rising costs is a trend that is likely to continue.
“Water and wastewater managers are missing substantial
opportunities to save energy and money, according to a report
published Wednesday (Sept. 4) by Water in the West, a research
center at Stanford University.
“The report, ‘Water and Energy Nexus: A Literature Review,’
also identifies the amount of water used to extract resources
such as natural gas, oil and coal, and to generate electricity.
“Savvy Californians know that cutting down the amount of water we
use saves lots of energy. It takes a huge amount of electrical
power to pump water to our thirsty cities, and when it gets there
we burn natural gas to heat it. But did you know that saving
energy also saves water?”
“All forms of energy – from hydropower to solar panels – use
water to extract and process the fuels, construct the processing
facilities, or generate the electricity. Likewise, water supply,
treatment, use, and disposal use considerable amounts of energy.
“One of two San Francisco-owned hydroelectric power plants
damaged in a huge wildfire that continues to scorch Sierra
timberland was back on line Tuesday, with the other plant
expected to be running in a few weeks. …
“The fire burned to the shoreline of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir,
the source of drinking water for 2.6 million people in the Bay
“It was called ‘megawatt laundering,’ a scheme invented by
Enron to maximize profits during the California energy crisis.
On Friday, one of its most aggressive practitioners agreed to
give the state a $750 million refund.
“Powerex, a government-owned hydroelectricity supplier from
British Columbia, cut a deal with California officials to
settle years of litigation over alleged market manipulation.
“A decade after a vast power outage shut down the Northeast, the
electricity grid remains ‘highly vulnerable’ to blackouts because
of extreme weather fueled by climate change, a report by the
White House and the Energy Department concludes.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Voices
on Water blog:
“A statewide education and outreach campaign urging Californians
to save water and energy this summer has launched through a
partnership among ACWA, representatives of the Governor’s Office,
the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and electric
utilities, ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs
and Operations Jennifer Persike writes in the latest entry in the
Voices on Water blog.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“A statewide outreach campaign that launched earlier this month
to remind consumers to use water and energy wisely this summer
now has public education tools available in both Spanish and
“The ‘Save Water & Save Energy This Summer’ outreach campaign
has developed numerous communications tools for water agencies
and utilities to use to educate their customers about the
importance of conserving both water and energy.”
“The first U.S. offshore wind turbine hooked into the U.S.
power grid in June, but not in the ‘green’ state of California.
“California is the state most associated with alternative
energy development, yet the state’s greatest potential source
of clean power (and its main geographic feature), the Pacific
Ocean, is largely ignored.”
“The Imperial Irrigation District has reached an agreement with
the California Independent System Operator that allows the IID to
control the interconnection and transmission of renewable energy
projects in its service territory that bypass the district’s
“In an effort to extend energy savings benefits to more Imperial
Irrigation District customers, the IID Board of Directors on
Tuesday, approved modifications to the district’s attic
insulation Energy Rewards Program, according to a press release
from the district.”
“The geothermal power plants at Southern California’s Salton Sea
don’t just produce electricity, they also trigger thousands of
temblors not far from one of the West Coast’s most dangerous
earthquake faults, a new study says.
“Power plants across the country are at increased risk of
temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures
and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available,
the Energy Department said Thursday.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic
fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information
in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the
Groundwater Resources Association of California.
The connection between water and energy is more relevant than
ever. After existing in separate realms for years, the maxim that
it takes water to produce energy and energy to produce water has
prompted a re-thinking of management strategies, including an
emphasis on renewable energy use by water agencies.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy
requirements associated with water use and the means by which
state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge
and improve the management of both resources.
This printed copy of Western Water examines climate change –
what’s known about it, the remaining uncertainty and what steps
water agencies are talking to prepare for its impact. Much of the
information comes from the October 2007 California Climate Change
and Water Adaptation Summit sponsored by the Water Education
Foundation and DWR and the November 2007 California Water Policy
Conference sponsored by Public Officials for Water and
Hydropower generation is prevalent in the West, where rapidly
flowing river systems have been tapped for generations to produce
electricity. Hydropower is a clean, steady and reliable energy
source, but the damming of rivers has exacted a toll on the
environment, affecting, among other things, the migration of fish
to vestigial spawning grounds. Many of those projects are due to
be relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The California power crisis has made international headlines. But
what is the link between water and power in California? How is
the state’s dry spell affecting its hydropower generation? How
has the electric crisis affected water users in the state? These
questions and others are addressed in this issue of Western