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For immediate release: June 17, 2005
Contact: Claudia Chandler - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y

Energy Commission Workshop Examines Global Climate Change
and the Relationship of Water to Energy

What: The California Energy Commission will conduct a workshop to seek public input on two staff white papers: Water-Energy Relationship, and Potential Changes in Hydropower Production from Global Climate Change in California and the Western U.S.

When: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
9:00 a.m.

Where: California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

People interested in participating in the workshop via teleconference should call (800) 857-7001 by 9 a.m. The pass code is WORKSHOP, the call leader is Matt Trask.

Who: The Energy Commission's 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report Committee will hold the workshop to gather public comment and to discuss policy options presented in the above-mentioned white papers.

Why: The Water-Energy Relationship staff paper examines the potential impacts to energy demand in California caused by regulatory and physical changes in the way water is transported, treated, distributed, and used. The paper also looks at changes in the way wastewater is treated and disposed. Nowhere else but California is so much water moved so far to serve so many people.

Here are some of the other findings in the document:

  • Roughly 10 percent of the states total electricity is used to convey, deliver, treat, and store water.

  • Electricity use in the water sector could nearly double by 2015, far outpacing population growth.

  • Extended drought and a shift in precipitation patterns to more rain and less snow would greatly increase water sector electricity use while decreasing hydropower generation.

  • The dramatic shift in crop patterns away from row crops and toward vineyards and orchards will prompt increased use of drip irrigation and the use of more electricity.

  • The decision by many communities to resolve water supply and wastewater disposal problems by recycling wastewater may require additional energy for treatment and pumping.

Energy Commission staff will also present the findings from the paper entitled Potential Changes in Hydropower Production from Global Climate Change in California and the Western U.S. The report assesses potential impacts on hydropower production from changes in climate induced by global warming. On average, about 12 percent of the electricity delivered to California customers comes from hydroelectric power generated within the state.

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