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Greenhouse gas mitigation case studies

WUCA recognizes the importance of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation as a key climate adaptation strategy and an issue of climate leadership in the water sector.

Ultimately, the more GHG emissions are mitigated, the less water utilities will need to adapt. Therefore, a key objective in WUCA's 2022-2026 Strategic Plan is for the alliance to continue developing practical examples and case studies of climate adaptation and climate mitigation. Water utilities have a unique role to play in mitigating GHGs, both due to the high energy usage of the water industry as well as the leading example that the water industry sets for other industries and business communities.

These GHG mitigation case studies are examples of progressive GHG mitigation projects at water utilities and include lessons learned during implementation. The selection of case studies is designed to represent a wide swath of project types—it is not an exhaustive list but hopefully a strong starting point for utilities to learn from each other. The focus was on water supply utilities, but many of the projects can be equally applied at wastewater and stormwater utilities.

The case studies were developed in partnership with the utilities profiled, and contacts are provided in each case study to facilitate follow-up and enable interested readers to learn more about implementing similar projects.

Solar panels on water

Floating Solar

Location: Lake County, California
Utility: Lake County Special District

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Pipes in facility

Inline Micro-Hydro

Location: Portland, Oregon
Utility: Portland Water Bureau

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Wind turbine

Wind Power, Solar and Battery Storage

Location: Southern California
Utility: Inland Empire Utilities Agency

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Chart of Sonoma Water's annual CO2 emissions since 2006

Carbon Free Water

Location: Sonoma, California
Utility: Sonoma Water

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Fleet of cars

Reducing Fleet Emissions

Location: Oakland, California
Utility: East Bay Municipal Utility District

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Screenshot of plant data

Pumping Optimization

Location: Lakewood, California
Utility: City of Lakewood

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Aerial view of treatment plant

Sustainable Water Treatment Plant

Location: Denver, Colorado
Utility: Denver Water

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Pipes in facility

Smart Building Cooling

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Utility: Waternet

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Aerial view of solar panels

Solar Panels

Location: San Diego, California
Utility: San Diego County Water Authority

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Truck pulled up to plant

Biogas to Local Natural Gas

Location: New York, New York
Utility: New York City Department of Environmental Protection

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Pipes in facility

Energy Recovery System for the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Plant

Location: Carlsbad, California
Utility: Poseidon Water

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Chart of usage

The Water Energy Nexus Protocol

Location: Sacramento, California
Utility: California Department of Water Resources

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Graphic indicates pump 9 is responsible for 30% of Deer Island's energy demand 10-150 MGD pumps, station capacity 788 MGD

Pumping Efficiencies

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Utility: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

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