Water and energy consumption are strongly linked. In order to have the adequate quantity and pressure of water in our households, water must be pumped from a reservoir to a treatment plant and then to a distribution system. This is a highly energy consuming process. For utilities, energy consumption is usually a major item of expenditure. The water sector consumes up to 4% of the worldwide electricity generation. Water supply systems are responsible for around 40% of this consumption, 80% of which is accounted for pumping systems [1,2]. Inadequate calibration and aging of equipment result in energy losses, which can lead to a significant decrease of the pumping system’s efficiency and increase the energy costs for utilities. This lays out significant potential for energy and cost efficiency improvement and, at the same time, for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Climate change is not the only challenge for the water management in Jordan. With one of the lowest levels of water availability per capita, Jordan is among the most water-scare countries in the world . Water scarcity and meeting the demand for water supply are major problems the country faces nowadays. The circumstances will be aggravated in the future due to population growth, refugee influx and economic development, which will increase the water demand. Moreover, the depth of the groundwater reservoirs and the large distances to end-consumers, make pumping systems and transport of water the most energy intensive processes, representing around 14% of the country’s overall energy consumption.
The company Miyahuna operates the water supply system in the city of Madaba. Aiming to face the growing challenges of water demand and seeking co-benefits in climate change mitigation and adaptation, the project WaCCliM (Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation) assists the water company in the look of opportunities for energy, costs and GHG reduction measures.
A baseline study was conducted to identify opportunities for GHG and energy reduction using ECAM (Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring), a tool that enables utilities to quantifiy their carbon footprint. The results showed that the energy consumption of the pumping system for water supply is the highest energy consumer and GHG emission source, with approximately 27,250,000 kWh/year and the related GHG emissions around 17,547,000 kgCO2eq/year.
Improvement scenarios for the pumping system were analysed using ECAM. As shown in Fig.1, the impact of installing new pumps would save up more than 650,000 MWh/year, resulting in the avoidance of more than 400,000 kgCO2eq/year.
After analysing the benefits, the company decided to improve the pumping system by installing six new horizontal centrifugal pumps, three of them (400m³/hour/60m) with motor power equal to 110 kW, and the remaining three (400m³/hour/200m) with motor power equal to 355 kW. The new pumps installed in Miyahuna are energy efficient and controlled by Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to maximize the energetic and economic savings (Fig. 2). The first readings since July 2019 show that the monthly energy consumption has decreased by more than 40% when comparing to the same months in 2018, and energy costs were reduced by almost half.
This initiative helped the company to:
The company Miyahuna has not only improved the energy efficiency in its system, but has adopted a low-carbon, climate-friendly policy and is now a leader of carbon-neutral water utilities.
- World Energy Outlook (2016): Water-Energy Nexus. International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WorldEnergyOutlook2016ExcerptWaterEnergyNexus.pdf
- Coelho, B.; Andrade-Campos, A (2014): Efficiency achievement in water supply systems–A review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 30, 59–84.
- World Health Organization (WHO) (2019): Jordan: Water is life. https://www.who.int/heli/pilots/jordan/en/