One silver lining to the ongoing drought in California is that the water conservation measures undertaken by the state have also saved energy and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Los Angeles Times, “During [Governor] Brown’s initial emergency conservation program that stretched from June 2015 through February, energy savings from water conservation totaled 922,543 megawatt-hours — enough to power 135,000 homes for a year.” The energy savings are likely even greater, since the figures do not include energy used to treat and dispose of water after its use by homes and businesses. In addition, the water conservation program saved as much energy as all energy efficiency programs offered by major investor-owned utilities in the state combined, at less than a third of the cost. Water conservation measures saved 423 billions of gallons of water in the state of California from June 2015 to April 2016.
Climate Protection: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation
Energy & Mobility: Saves energy used to pump and treat water
Food & Water: Leaves water resources in reservoirs or underground for future use
Jobs & Assets: Saves money compared to typical energy efficiency measures