Water Sector Energy Use

By Published On: March 28, 2014

California’s water sector consumed 250,494 GWh of power and approximately 13,571 million therms of natural gas in 2001, according to the California Energy Commission. The amount of energy used to move, treat, heat and desalinate water varies. It depends on multiple factors, including distance traveled, the source of the water, its quality and temperature. Energy use ranges for specific activities of the water sector in and outside California, according to a May 2013 Pacific Institute report, are as follows: • Zero to 1,000 kWh for each 1 million gallons of local surface water. • 800- 3,500 kWh per million gallons of local groundwater. • 4,000 -8,000 kWh to treat and/or recycle 1 million gallons of wastewater. • 7,900-14,000 kWh to move 1 million gallons from the State Water Project facilities in the San Francisco Bay Delta to Southern California. • 12,000-18,000 kWh of power to desalinate 1 million gallons of seawater.

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