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Strengthening the water-energy nexus and non-traditional water resources

As water supplies in California become less reliable due to a shifting climate, pursuing alternatives to imported water has become essential. Among the alternatives to imports, advanced recycled water for direct potable reuse is a strategy that may be implemented across the state once developing regulations are finalized. By reducing the distance that water travels, this strategy would also reduce the energy required to bring clean water to the tap. Assessing the energy requirements for recycled-water is necessary to create a foundation for water-energy decision making in California. In project funded and managed by the CERC-WET collaborative, we are developing and assessing scenarios for California’s electricity generation sector that involve a high degree of reliance on recycled water, and evaluating a range of potential contract structures between recycled water suppliers and thermal power customers. 

The Center has a long history of supporting a broad suite of research to overcome barriers to non-traditional waters technology (graywater reuse/recycling, stormwater capture, etc.). Recent publications, authored by past initiative staff and current Center scholars such as Yoram Cohen, have focused on the potential for on-site residential graywater recycling, including in Water Environment Research and the American Water Works Association.