Auditing Infrastructure for Water-Energy Demands

As part of the policy support and guidance theme of the project, we are conducting an energy audit and energy rating work package. This auditing and rating will enable the identification of energy intensive areas of each network. This in turn will advise the approaches required to improve the sustainability of the water sector in Ireland and Wales. This being the case our work in this area work will complement and work closely with the life cycle assessment and benchmarking process as well as feed into the Ecodesign methodology.

 
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Audits of network data will be conducted through the assessment of key performance criteria such as: volume of water supplied, distance of distribution, leakage, elevation gain, elevation loss, input energy. These audits will enable further cross-comparisons of energy efficiency in Ireland and Wales and locally within each country to be carried out.

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Following on from the auditing work, new energy rating systems will be developed. The completion of energy audits will enable us to develop a methodology of rating or scoring a water distribution network in terms of its efficiency, similar to the building energy rating scheme or that for energy related products (A to G, etc.). Using minimum input parameters, we will develop a rating system to enable water service providers to assess the performance of the distribution system at a high level to assist in the decision-making process for upgrading works, targeted investment in efficiency measures, etc. It is envisaged that this work will lead to the development of a user interface to link in with the smart specialisation cluster.

From preliminary benchmarking and auditing work it is possible to identify the total carbon footprint of the water industry and highlight the major contributors from each area. As the industry’s direct power usage (as oppose to power usage by third parties) has by far the largest impact it has been broken down further to identify the major use areas in both water and sewage treatment and distribution. This work will provide a better understanding of specific energy use and link this with potential technologies to reduce the impact.