New energy-water nexus bill stresses need for source-to-site energy analysis

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BOSTON, MA, May 8, 2014 -- A new Senate bill, the Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability (NEWS) Act of 2014 (S. 1971) will create a committee within the National Science and Technology Committee (NSTC) to streamline federal activities related to the management of interconnected energy and water systems.

The bill reflects a growing recognition that source energy analysis lies at the heart of resource management. These types of legislation are paving the way for organizations to better understand and manage the impact of their energy and resource consumption.

As part of this initiative, last year, individuals from BP, GE, Sandia National Lab, Energy Points, American Water, and other organizations were invited to provide their expertise on the issue at a roundtable discussion.

"Given enough energy, it is possible to provide water to any place in the world -- that's why water is really an energy issue," said Dr. Ory Zik, Energy Points CEO. "By measuring source energy (the energy invested in resources such as water and electricity), you're able to directly compare resources in terms of energy and environmental impact."

Accordingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that source energy is the best way to evaluate energy efficiency. Dr. Seth Sheldon, senior scientist at Energy Points, said, "When you look at electricity, fuel and water use as forms of source energy consumption, you're able to make direct comparisons between them to determine the true culprit of energy inefficiency and environmental harm. This bill is a critical step towards effectively managing national resource use."

Zik added, "Organizations facing drought and the risks it poses to their operations shouldn't just consider direct water conservation as a means of mitigating these risks. It may be that electricity conservation would be as impactful as water conservation, if not more, because of the vast amounts of water it takes to produce that electricity. Only source-to-site energy analysis can bring that to light."

See also:

"Alaskan senator supports energy-water nexus legislation"

"World Water Day 2014: Event addresses water-energy nexus"

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