Water-Energy Nexus

Research performed by the Energy Commission has found that water and energy resources are inextricably connected, and this is known as the Water-Energy Nexus. Transportation and treatment of water, treatment and disposal of wastewater, and the energy used to heat and consume water account for nearly 20 percent of the total electricity and 30 percent of non-power plant related natural gas consumed in California. Demand for water resources is expected to rise primarily due to population growth and also as a result of external factors such as climate change and more strict regulatory rules protecting water quality.

Water-related electricity use is 48 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year and accounts for nearly 20% of California's total electricity consumption.

Chart showing breakdown of California's Water-Related Electricy consumption by Water Use
Source: Refining Estimates of Water-Related Energy Use in California