This working paper proposes the first comprehensive approach to calculate water withdrawals and consumption associated with purchased electricity. It provides the first international country-level and U.S. subnational-level water use factors detailing the grid average water withdrawal and consumption resulting from a unit of electricity consumption.
The method is designed for all organizations interested in measuring water use and the impacts, risks, and opportunities associated with purchased electricity. It can help assess the upstream water impacts of operational decisions.
For example, water-cooled and air-cooled HVAC systems have different impacts on an organization’s direct water use. In addition, because of their differing electricity consumption, these systems also have different impacts on the water used in electricity generation. The new guidance allows organizations to quantify more comprehensive water impacts as they consider such decisions.
WRI and WSP look forward to engaging with organizations who seek to apply this guidance to their operations to further their water stewardship efforts.
Click here to download the guidance document.