Water-Saving Synergies

Water-Saving Synergies

February 7, 2018
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Articled first appeared on Facility Management Magazine

By Ian Dempster, Senior Director of Product Innovation, Optimum EnergyIan Dempster

How smart HVAC systems can deliver cost and energy savings without draining water resource

Conflicts between energy production and water availability are on the rise, even in areas not traditionally associated with water supply constraints. These two critical resources are inextricably linked. The collection, pumping, conveyance, treatment and discharge of water requires large amounts of energy. Likewise, energy production uses large amounts of water for mineral extraction and mining, fuel production, hydropower and power plant cooling. And the demand for both resources is growing.

The World Resources Institute estimates that by 2050, global economic activity will increase fivefold, the global population will increase more than 50 percent, global energy consumption will increase nearly threefold, and global manufacturing activity will increase at least threefold. Balancing sustainability against conventional mass production creates conundrums for businesses and facilities. One of the biggest is how to spread the benefits of industrialization worldwide without creating unsustainable impacts on water and other natural resources.

Building owners must be part of the solution. They’re already feeling the pressure: rising energy costs and concerns about global warming are forcing some water man­ agers to seek ways optimize the energy efficiency of their water systems and reduce overall water use. One potentially large source of water savings that is often over­ looked is HVAC systems.

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