Water use consumes approximately 8 percent of the nation’s energy. The number skews higher in the west, due to energy-intensive conveyance over deserts and mountain ranges: over 20 percent of electricity and 30 percent of natural gas use in California is associated with water use. Likewise, energy production is water-intensive, from cooling steam at fossil-fuel plants to irrigating corn to produce ethanol. Nationwide, the power-generating sector uses approximately one-third of the nation’s developed water resources. One strand of ALI research focusses on precisely understanding energy and water inputs into both systems, in order to inform strategic choices for uncoupling the nexus.

Water-Energy Nexus:  State Water Project/California Aqueduct.
“Mapping California’s Water-Energy Nexus,” 2010. ALI Technics Studio: GIS and the Visualization of Water, Energy, and Climate Data.More