What is the Water-Energy Nexus?

Present day water and energy systems are interdependent.  Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract, treat and deliver water for human uses. Water and Energy. Energy and water.

These interdependencies are often referred to as the water-energy nexus, and recent developments have focused national attention on these connections. And that hasn’t been lost on us.

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When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities.  There is now added complexity to the national dialogue on the relationship between energy and water resources.

The findings show that the scale of water use for energy production is tremendous. Some 580 billion cubic metres of freshwater are withdrawn for energy production every year*. At about 15% of the world’s total water withdrawal, the figure is second only to agriculture. To put it another way, the energy sector withdraws water at approximately the same rate that water flows down the Ganges (in India) or Mississippi (in the United States) Rivers – some of the very largest in the world.

 

Data for Thought

  • Total water withdrawals from all sources in the United States in 2011: 405,868 gallons per person (World Bank, 2011 and United States Census Bureau, 2011)
  • Electric power consumption in the United States in 2011: 13,246 kWh per person (World Bank, 2011)

Water is required to generate energy. Thermoelectric cooling, hydropower, energy mineral extraction and mining, fuel production (including fossil fuels, biofuels, and other non-conventional fuels), and emission controls all rely on large amounts of water. In the United States, the thermoelectric generating industry is the largest withdrawal user of water. According to USGS, 349 billion gallons of freshwater were withdrawn per day in the United States in the year 2005. The largest use, thermoelectric, accounted for 41 percent of freshwater withdrawn at 143 billion gallons per day (BGD).

  • Water withdrawal: The total volume removed from a water source such as a lake or river. Often, a large portion of this water is returned to the source and is available to be used again.
  • Water consumption: The amount of water removed for use and not returned to its source.

Water supply also requires energy use. A large amount of energy is needed to extract, convey, treat, and deliver potable water. Additionally, energy is required to collect, treat, and dispose of wastewater. In 2010, the U.S. water system consumed over 600 billion kWh, or approximately 12.6 percent of the nation’s energy according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. The study found water systems use about 25 percent more energy than is used for residential or commercial lighting in the U.S.

Growing population: According to a 2012 United States Census Bureau projection, the U.S. population could reach 400 million people by 2051. Population growth affects energy use through increases in housing, commercial floor space, transportation, and economic activity. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that total electricity consumption will grow from 3,841 billion kWh in 2011 to 4,930 billion kWh in 2040.

Agriculture: Feeding a growing population may require greater agricultural water use.  Agriculture accounts for approximately 37 percent of total freshwater withdrawals in the U.S., and 81 percent of water consumption.

 

The WETT

The WETT (Water-Energy Tech Team from the Federal Department of Energy) has drafted The Water-Energy Nexus Challenges and Opportunities, which frames an integrated challenge and opportunity space around the nexus for DOE and its partners and lays the foundation for future efforts.

The WETT has identified six strategic pillars that will serve as the foundation for coordinating R&D:

  1. Optimize the freshwater efficiency of energy production, electricity generation, and end-use technologies
  2. Optimize the energy efficiency of water management, treatment, distribution, and end-use technologies
  3. Enhance the reliability and resilience of energy and water technologies
  4. Increase safe and productive use of nontraditional water sources through improved technology
  5. Promote responsible energy operations with respect to water quality, ecosystem, and seismic impacts
  6. Exploit productive synergies among water and energy system technologies

Aquanomix’s Symphony addresses many of the strategic pillars of challenges and opportunities outlined by the WETT. Symphony manages and optimizes water and energy usage in cooling systems, including in data centers, hospitals, commercial buildings, research and institutions, manufacturing plants, et al.

Marrying the water quality data with the hvac system performance data allows the advanced controls system the opportunity to aggregate and analyze data by running algorithms to determine underperforming system components.

Symphony’s powerful Nexus Number aggregates water quality, water efficiency, energy efficiency data – the first technology of its kind that establishes and explores new relationships surrounding those data sets.

The value in a technology that marries energy and water quality data is powerful. It reveals transparency of operating costs and water quality management at such a granular level. The data supports swift and intelligent decision-making processes, which can save money and improve outcomes in performance.

Aquanomix is poised to support sweeping change throughout the water crisis using our critically important technologies. We know water. We’re ready to promote responsible water usage.

 

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Thank you to the Department of Energy for information on the WETT. You can find out more about the WETT’s challenges here.

Thank you to the National Conference of State Legislatures for the facts and figures above. You can find out more in the report here.

Brochure: When it’s life or death – should you really take a chance?

Creating the safest hospital requires maximum transparency of your building’s overall HVAC conditions.

Nearly every facility relies heavily on HVAC systems, but hospitals are vastly different from data centers, and have a different set of specific needs.

Without exception, hospitals cannot endure any shutdowns or interruptions. This applies even during planned maintenance, making proper preparation a vital factor to reducing human errors, equipment failure, and downtime.

Across industries, unplanned downtime at healthcare organizations cost an average of $7,900 a minute per incident, up 41 percent from $5,600 per minute in 2010.*

Reliable, efficient, scalable.

Meet Symphony.

Click here to download our digital brochure.

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Source: Survey Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power.

Brochure: Industrial + Commercial Water Reuse Systems

Typically, we see the following sources of makeup water in re-use systems:

  • Rainwater
  • Storm water
  • Foundation water
  • Grey water
  • Air Handler Condensate
  • Steam Condensate
  • Filtration backwash water
  • Cooling tower blow down
  • Process water

Typically, we reuse water for the following:

  • Cooling tower make up
  • Boiler make up
  • Toilet flushing
  • Irrigation
  • Roof misting
  • Process water
  • Street or building washing

Download our newest brochure on water reuse here.

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We’re in California – right now!

Some of the fine Aquanomix staff is West Coast based for the next 5 weeks taking on the California drought with our industrial + commercial water reuse and water optimization solutions. We’re taking meetings with some of the world’s largest companies and thought leaders.

HEY CALI: WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

First stop: LA; Next stop: San Fran.

If you’re in the area, please contact us so we can meet and talk about solutions to help your commercial and industrial building(s) address the drought risks. Email us at this email address.

 

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84% of data center managers would rather what?

84% of data center managers would rather walk barefoot over hot coals is than endure data center downtime, but 91% experienced an unplanned outage in the past 24 months, according to an Emerson Power study.

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Symphony™ helps data centers, other critical facilities, any commercial or industrial building improve reliability and efficiency.

Minimize CapEx / OpEx risk by continuously monitoring and analyzing the water quality and energy use – from anywhere.

As a result, you can get the reliability & performance that management demands.

 

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What is risk? – George Costanza

Risk Management 101: Even if George Costanza is in charge of your facility’s risk management, Symphony can support mitigation of critical asset failure and debilitating operational downtime.

You continuously monitor your entire building with real-time data. You monitor everything except your cooling water, correct? Let’s help you change that.

Let us ask you one question. What risk can you afford?

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We know water, so you don’t have to. Continuous commissioning and real-time data of one of the most variable parts of your cooling system: water quality.

 

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives, courage and legacy of fallen Service members. We would like to take a moment to sincerely and humbly thank those in our military who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and ultimately, for all of us.

 

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IBcon 2015: Aquanomix on Smart Water Panel

Aquanomix has been chosen as the water industry expert at 2015 IBcon – The Smart, Connected, High Performance Intelligent Buildings Conference.

Aquanomix Managing Partner and water industry expert, Rob O’Donnell will be on the Smart Building Tech Innovation Showcase Panel during the Smart WATER – Using Automation and Innovation to Achieve Extraordinary Efficiency session.

The panel will surround how much of the smart building conversations has revolved around energy and operational efficiency. Water, one of our most expensive and important resources, has been given very little consideration, especially when it comes to efficiency and conservation in our buildings. With some basic instrumentation applied to the existing water infrastructure in buildings/portfolios/campuses, there is the opportunity to monitor and manage this precious resource with a level of granularity never before seen. Usage, flow rate, pressure, leak detection, quality and other water related metrics are a few of the new opportunities afforded when smart water systems are added to the connected building ecosystem.

The panel will be moderated by Navigant’s Benjamin Freas. Rob’s fellow panel members will include David Doll of OSIsoft, Mike Mason of Weathermatic, and Logan Soya of Aquicore.

Please join us on June 10 at 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas.

Find out more here at the official IBcon page.

Aquanomix + IBcon

Lego Space Race Robotics Competition!

This week, Aquanomix’s Managing Partner Elias Mullane was on hand to support the Iredell-Statesville School’s Gifted Program as they promoted the “Lego Space Race”, a competition of robot designing and programming for North Carolina elementary and middle school students.

Aquanomix aims to support STEM education experiences that prioritize hands-on learning to increase student engagement, interest, and achievement in the STEM fields – and to find the next generation of innovators for Aquanomix!

 

 

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New US Water Stress Index Shows More Areas Vulnerable to Multiyear Drought

Read about it here:
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