The water-energy nexus is rapidly being recognized as a major issue of concern as a growing population is increasing the demand for water and the energy needed to treat and deliver it, while climate change threatens to adversely affect existing water resources, demanding new methods of mitigation and adaptation. As water-energy stakeholders grapple with the complex issues of crafting policies and implementing projects, they must better understand not only the inextricable relationship of our water and energy resources, but also actions they may take to aid in their conservation. It is only with such knowledge that they can help mitigate future water problems by encouraging the design of sustainable projects and communities.
Making sustainability a part of our daily lives requires the interaction of policies, people and technologies, all working together to make a difference. At a time of rising awareness of “green” and “sustainable” values, water–energy sustainability options provide real and actionable ways to conserve our precious resources. Technically feasible solutions abound in this area. The trick is in selecting the right options for the right projects, and having motivated people and the right policies in place to successfully implement them.
The Water-Energy Toolkit for Sustainable Development offers a practical guide to implementing water-energy conservation policies and projects for water agency staff, policy makers, water-energy conservation advocates and developers. It is designed to provide these four key stakeholder groups with the basic knowledge and resources needed to enable consideration of water-energy savings solutions in the community development process. Structured as an action-oriented and practical guidebook, the Toolkit offers simple steps, example roadmaps, and four California case study examples of exemplary projects to guide stakeholders through the key components of water-energy sustainability decisions.Specific issues addressed include:
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- The importance of water-energy savings;
- Jurisdictional issues and standards related to water-energy savings;
- Developer issues and choices;
- Third-party standards and certification issues; and
- Water-energy technologies – characteristics, use and applicability.