The Energy-Water Nexus
Energy Benchmarking of Water and Wastewater Treatment, Distribution and Collection
The energy intensity of the water and wastewater utility sector is affected by many factors including water source, water quality, and the distance and elevation that water must be transported. Better knowledge of where and when energy is used could support strategic energy interventions and reveal opportunities for efficiency. This research aims to quantify energy intensity by process and type, including electricity and natural gas, and explores the time-varying nature of electric energy consumption for potable water distribution using the Austin Water Utility (AWU) in Austin, Texas as a case study. The potential for the water sector to participate in the power market is assessed.
Solar-Powered Desalination of Brackish Groundwater in Texas
As fresh-water demand increases there is a need for new sources. Desalination of brackish groundwater is an energy-intensive alternative but treated water could act as a proxy for storage of intermittent renewable energy, like wind and solar, which suffer from the lack of storage capability. This research focuses on the integration of renewable energy with water treatment to manage the stresses on water supply without jeopardizing the environment by reliance on fossil fuels. The analyses include a geographic assessment of brackish water resources, renewable energy capacity and co-location of the two; technological and economic considerations; and an examination of policies that support or act as barriers to their implementation with an emphasis on Texas.
M.S. Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, expected August 2014
M.PAff. Master's in Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs, expected August 2014
B.S. Environmental Engineering (B.S. Minor: Global Politics), 2011, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA