Friday, February 15, 2008

Green lawns could lead to brownouts

CNN is reporting on the link between using electricity and water and how a lack of water is causing utilities to try and implement techniques to save water. The article also address the lack of knowledge the public has with regard to utilities and water usage. One interesting fact that the report notes is that "California could achieve 95% of its energy conservation goals 58% more cheaply by targeting water consumption rather than power consumption." It also states that running the hot water in Los Angeles for five minutes uses as much electricity as keeping a 60 watt lightbulb on for 14 hours. It seems as if they should concentrate on reducing water consumption. As the water becomes more scarce the utility companies know that something needs to be done so they have started using wastewater systems and using air cooled systems which use no water.

I wonder if we have a similar situation in Austin. Is taking one minute less in the shower going to be the same as turning off a lightbulb for three hours? Something that could be done cheaply is simply a public information campaign. If you inform people of the problem and what sacrifices we will have to make in the future if we don't change, maybe people will change. All it takes is simply lifestyle changes to make a big difference in energy and water consumption and I hope people start taking things seriously.

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