A Sleeping Giant: The Nexus of Water and Energy

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Water and energy are critical, mutually dependent resources—the production of energy requires large volumes of water and water infrastructure requires large amounts of energy.

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 According to U.S. Geological Survey, 349 billion gallons of freshwater were withdrawn per day in the United States in 2005. The largest use, thermoelectric, accounted for 41 percent of freshwater withdrawn at 143 billion gallons per day (BGD). However, freshwater consumption for thermoelectric purposes is low (only 3 percent) when compared to other use categories such as irrigation, which was responsible for 81 percent of water consumed.

Water supply also requires energy use. A large amount of energy is needed to extract, convey, treat, and deliver potable water. In addition, 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 research at the University of Texas at Austin. The research found that water systems use about 25 percent more energy than is used for residential or commercial lighting in the U.S.

On January 28th, plan to participate in a discussion on this often overlooked but vital topic.

John Crittenden, Director, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology

John’s research interests involve pollution prevention, energy/water dynamics, heat and mass transfer and systems modeling. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

John has a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Kevin Haas, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineeing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kevin’s research interests include include coastal engineering, extracting energy from waves and currents, numerical modeling of nearshore circulation, sediment transport in coastal regions and hydrodynamics of rip current systems.

Kevin has a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware.

Presentations:

“Water Energy Nexus” for Energy Supply in the 21st Century- John Crittenden

Marine Hydrokinetic Energy: Can it Power the Southeast?- Kevin A. Haas

Find Us

The regular venue for the Series is the Hodges Room in Tech Square:

Centergy One
75 5th Street, NW; Hodges Room
Atlanta, GA 30308
404-894-2376