How to Conserve Energy and Water in a Drought

June 22, 2022
ASTERRA Profile Photo

P3 Water Summit Panel Discussion

San Diego, June 22, 2022 –The drought spreading across the United States is being monitored and studied as well as being addressed at a panel discussion hosted by the P3 Water Summit in San Diego where ASTERRA discussed using innovative technology to bring savings via the water-energy nexus. Today, ASTERRA released the recording from this discussion, and it is viewable free and on-demand at ASTERRA’s website.

The P3 panel dug into the two universal issues for sustainable water programs—how to save both water and energy. These are negatively impacted during periods of drought leading to sweeping water restrictions. Led by Ben Stanford, Ph.D., and including industry experts, James Perry and Ellie Barker, the P3 panel focused on the recent California Energy Commission (CEC) report, which demonstrated how the use of innovative water leak detection technology is a viable tool for conserving water and energy. The CEC reported that ASTERRA’s satellite-based leak detection was proven to be a successful tool in this effort.

The project leader of the CEC study and co-author of the final report is Stanford, associate vice president of Hazen and Sawyer. Other panelists were Barker, program manager of Imagine H2O, and Perry, executive vice president of ASTERRA. Martin Coghill from San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) submitted presentation slides used by the panel but was unable to be present.

The Impact of Leaks on the Drought

Stanford reported that water-related energy use in California consumes 19 percent of the state’s electricity (CEC report, 2006) and the state’s distribution systems lose up to 228 billion gallons of water per year. As such, identifying and repairing leaks early significantly mitigates this loss. These efforts are always critical, but particularly in periods of drought. In the California American Water Duarte System, 130 water leaks were found during seven months by ASTERRA, resulting in up to 170 million gallons in saved water.

When asked about the CEC report findings, Perry addressed utility decision-makers, “You need strong efficacy from people that independently test and verify new technology used for saving water and energy, which will help you understand what you are doing from a technical standpoint.”

For the P3 panel, Stanford reviewed how the CEC project team installed and evaluated the latest advances in leak detection technology, including satellite imagery leak detection from ASTERRA. The study demonstrated how reduced water loss directly correlates with reduced energy loss because there is embedded energy in water pumping and treatment. During the project, the team evaluated the financial, water, and energy savings benefits associated with the technologies and provided guidance for utilities to evaluate the technologies for applicability to other systems. This project was also recently published by Stanford in the AWWA Water Science journal.

How Leak Detection Helps Save Water in a Drought

The results of this study and efforts to conserve water are being realized to the benefit of the SDCWA, for whom ASTERRA is using data from satellites to detect water leaks. In slides submitted by Coghill for SDCWA, the leak detection results as of March 2022 showed a 333% increase over the benchmark of .33 leaks per mile.

Panelist Barker spoke of developing innovative technology that drives conservation and sustainable water programs. Imagine H2O supports the development of a spectrum of water technologies. After 12 years, Imagine H2O has supported 166 entrepreneurs and has raised over 800 million dollars of equity capital. An accelerator for ASTERRA, Imagine H2O supported their early growth. In 2017, ASTERRA won their Water Data Challenge (under their former name, Utilis).

The Role of ASTERRA

ASTERRA helps governments at every level to understand and embrace innovative technologies for leak detection and to monitor the infrastructure by consistently demonstrating the financial, resource management, and environmental benefits of these proactive programs. Perry said, “We are developing a good understanding of what it takes to innovate. It usually comes from one person with a great idea, and it rarely, if ever, ends there .”

ASTERRA has secured distribution rights to the panel discussion recording from P3, and therefore invites everyone interested to view the program.

Please contact us to learn more about ASTERRA’s solutions.

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