Posted April 23, 2015 by Gabriel Posternak

Energy efficiency and drought – the overlooked connection

Given the extreme drought times Californians are living, it’s understandable why there isn’t a slight detail in their everyday life that hasn’t been put under scrutiny. People and companies have adjusted their routines – from stopping showering to transforming their landscapes. Newspapers have called all the possible experts in the subject for help and suggestions and blogs have filled the Web with listacles with all kinds of water saving tips. Even politicians have started issuing executive orders restricting consumption.

Yet in spite of all the drought talks that have been making the rounds in the last months, there are certain issues that haven’t been covered as much that definitely should have been discussed. Water-intensive agriculture, food exporting, water bottling are just but a few we need to talk more. But there’s one in particular that involves us all and which all of us can tackle from our very own homes, right now, and that we shouldn’t overlook anymore – energy efficiency.

Sure, you might say, I’ve already checked and fixed our leaky faucets and toilets, changed our high-flow showerhead for a more efficient one and even bought a new Energy Star-rated dishwater that runs at full capacity every time. That’s great and it’s certainly a big step towards a change for better. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough because an energy efficient home is more than just a house with top-notch water systems – it’s a home with all kinds of adjustments efficiency-wise.

To this point you might be wondering how your air leaks or your lack of insulation can have an impact on any other thing besides your bills. Well, there’s an often overlooked connection you should keep in mind, since it underlines the importance of having an energy efficient home.

How energy efficiency helps you fight drought

Though not seeing the link between water and energy can be understandable up to some point, failing to consider its significance is a huge mistake. Shortage in water supply can easily translate in energy constraints, reason why is especially important to save energy during times of drought. But how is that connection established?

It’s quite simple, actually. Water is used in various stages of energy generation – and we aren’t talking about hydroelectric generation exclusively. Water is employed to cool towers and refrigerate systems and also used in reservoirs at power plants.  The more energy is produced, the more water is needed to keep the plant functioning.


Now, with that in mind, you’ve surely figured out how all the pieces fall into place. If you don’t improve your home’s energy efficiency in every possible way, you’ll be wasting much more energy which, in turn, will make water consumption to go higher in the energy generation stages. In such scenario, the windows you didn’t sealed because you didn’t have the time or the money can have as much impact as a leaky faucet.

Sure, the impact isn’t as direct as that an inefficient water system can have but it certainly adds up to the negative effect and ultimately contributes to the drought.

So, what can you do?

There are several instances you can tackle to ensure you’re doing the best you can in your home to fight against drought:

  • Adjust your water consumption: take shorter showers, turn your lawn into a drought-tolerant landscape, reuse as much waste water as possible, fill the whole dishwasher before using it, do the laundry when you definitely have to and try to do so in full loads.
  • Fix your water problems: perhaps you don’t have the money to change your problematic faucets or pipes. That’s ok as long as you take care of them properly. Fix water leaks anywhere you find them and as quickly as possible to avoid wasting water. Remember, even the smallest leak is a huge problem.
  • Renew your appliances: low-flow showerheads and toilets, better Energy Star-rated dishwashers and washing machines, aerators for your faucets – always seek for the latest technologies in appliances that use water, since the newest models have already built-in a series of measures to preserve more water.
  • Hire an expert to conduct an energy efficiency audit: what we already discussed throughout this article – any aspect that you can improve in your energy consumption will help in reducing your water use.

It  would be perfect if you could cover all of the points in that list. There’ll be some of them you’ll be able to do yourself, and others that will require you to call a professional. That’s especially true when talking about the energy efficiency audit, since trying to do it by yourself can end up in certain critical details being overlooked and not being taken care of properly. Fortunately, you can take advantage from Treeium’s latest offer to get an expert audit backed up by year of experience at an unbeatable price.

Can’t cover all the points? That’s a shame but don’t worry. Do as much as you can and keep the ones that you didn’t do in mind for the future. When you have the opportunity, get them done. Remember, when talking about energy efficiency, preserving water and fighting the drought, the important is to take action whenever you can and even when it don’t seem as big. The environment will certainly be grateful.

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