Measuring the embodied energy in drinking water supply systems: a case study in the Great Lakes region.

Academic Article


  • A sustainable supply of both energy and water is critical to long-term national security, effective climate policy, natural resource sustainability, and social wellbeing. These two critical resources are inextricably and reciprocally linked; the production of energy requires large volumes of water, while the treatment and distribution of water is also significantly dependent upon energy. In this paper, a hybrid analysis approach is proposed to estimate embodied energy and to perform a structural path analysis of drinking water supply systems. The applicability of this approach is then tested through a case study of a large municipal water utility (city of Kalamazoo) in the Great Lakes region to provide insights on the issues of water-energy pricing and carbon footprints. Kalamazoo drinking water requires approximately 9.2 MJ/m(3) of energy to produce, 30% of which is associated with indirect inputs such as system construction and treatment chemicals.
  • Authors

  • Mo, Weiwei
  • Nasiri, Fuzhan
  • Eckelman, Matthew J
  • Zhang, Qiong
  • Zimmerman, Julie B
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • December 15, 2010
  • Keywords

  • Carbon Footprint
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Energy-Generating Resources
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Michigan
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Water Supply
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21105699
  • Start Page

  • 9516
  • End Page

  • 9521
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 24