I heard this tasty story on NPR on Friday.
Orange County, California, has spent close to $500 million on a waste water purification plant that turns water water into drinking water. The plant produces 70 million gallons of drinking water a day, which meets 10 percent of the county's daily water requirement.
As with many new efforts in the United States, of course there is opposition to using recycled wastewater, like that from a group called the Revolting Grandmas. And I am sure there is oppostion from a group against the Revolting Grandmas, probably because the group does not consist of grandmas alone, but also consists of moms, sisters, and some uncles.
But I digress... According to the story, California spends 20 percent of its total energy consumption to move water from the north to the south. I was able to find some outdated information from a California Energy Commissions website that noted that in 2004, 15,000 GWh per year was used to pump and treat water.