After manpower, energy is the highest operating cost item for most water and wastewater companies. Over the last decade, energy consumption by the sector has increased considerably as a consequence of the implementation of new technologies to meet new potable water and effluent treatment quality standards. The price of energy has also increased substantially in the same period.

These increases will be compounded by the need to meet future changes to regulations and standards that will require additional energy intensive processes to achieve more exacting requirements. High energy consumption will affect the water industry world wide and is inextricably linked to the issue of Climate Change.

This international research project has focused on identifying current energy efficient best practices and technologies in the efficient design and operation of water industry assets for the whole water cycle from abstraction to discharge, including water treatment and distribution, wastewater conveyance and treatment; water reuse; sludge treatment and disposal and water conservation. Opportunities have also been identified for hydraulic energy recovery from turbines and generation from waste and sludge through CHP technology.

The study output is a Compendium of global best practices covering the water cycle matrix and includes variations between regions and continents, large urban and small rural systems and complex high and simple low technical solutions. International case studies are used to illustrate best practices.

On behalf of Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) partners world-wide as represented by four Continental Coordinators in the US, Europe, Singapore and Australasia, and South Africa, the project was managed by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).

This presentation will give the background to the project and use case studies to illustrate the study findings and future opportunities to help deliver both incremental improvements in energy efficiency through optimisation of existing assets and operations and more substantial improvements in energy efficiency from the adoption of novel but proven technologies.

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