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Tackling the Nexus: Exemplary Programs that Save Both Energy and Water

Research Report E131


Rachel Young and Eric Mackres


Energy and water have an inherent relationship. Energy is needed to transport, treat, heat, cool, and recycle water and, conversely, water is needed in energy production. As a result, saving water saves energy and saving energy saves water. This intersection and interaction between energy and water is known as the “energy-water nexus.” Some energy efficiency programs have begun to address and account for water savings, and conversely some water programs have begun to account for energy savings impacts, but this has occurred only in a patchwork of programs across the country. Greater efficiency could be gained from recognition of the energy-water nexus in program delivery and accounting practices plus better understanding and coordination between the two communities. To recognize possible future directions for program delivery that reaps the benefits of the water-energy nexus,  the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) present their first-ever awards project for exemplary efficiency programs that save both water and energy.