Rainwater: The Untapped Resource
Part Two of a Three-Part Series
Energy and water are inextricably linked. Roughly one quad of energy per year could be saved in the United States if we reduced water consumption by 10%. Energy costs make up 80% of the typical water bill. Seven to eight percent of the country's energy consumption can be traced to moving or treating water. To get clean water to a household sink, 5 to 25 Btu/gallon of water is needed. Although the amount of fresh water remains relatively constant, our population is growing. It already takes a lot of energy to deliver clean water and, as demand increases, it will take even more. Adding to this, our fossil and nuclear energy options not only use large quantities of water but pollute it as well. The dilemma is clear. We must save energy to save water, and save water to save energy. Rainwater harvesting reduces or eliminates the need for retention ponds.