Influences of water quality and climate on the water-energy nexus: A spatial comparison of two water systems.

Academic Article


  • As drinking water supply systems plan for sustainable management practices, impacts from future water quality and climate changes are a major concern. This study aims to understand the intraannual changes of energy consumption for water treatment, investigate the relative importance of water quality and climate indicators on energy consumption for water treatment, and predict the effects of climate change on the embodied energy of treated, potable water at two municipal drinking water systems located in the northeast and southeast US. To achieve this goal, a life cycle assessment was first performed to quantify the monthly energy consumption in the two drinking water systems. Regression and relative importance analyses were then performed between climate indicators, raw water quality indicators, and chemical and energy usages in the treatment processes to determine their correlations. These relationships were then used to project changes in embodied energy associated with the plants' processes, and the results were compared between the two regions. The projections of the southeastern US water plant were for an increase in energy demand resulted from an increase of treatment chemical usages. The northeastern US plant was projected to decrease its energy demand due to a reduced demand for heating the plant's infrastructure. The findings indicate that geographic location and treatment process may determine the way climate change affects drinking water systems.
  • Authors

  • Stang, Shannon
  • Wang, Haiying
  • Gardner, Kevin H
  • Mo, Weiwei
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • July 15, 2018
  • Published In


  • Climate Change
  • Climate change
  • Drinking Water
  • Dynamic life cycle energy assessment
  • Relative importance analysis
  • Spatial comparison of drinking water supply
  • Water Purification
  • Water Quality
  • Water Supply
  • Water quality
  • Water-energy nexus
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 29715670
  • Start Page

  • 613
  • End Page

  • 621
  • Volume

  • 218