A Sustainable Path: Meeting Nevada's Water and Energy Demands

In this report, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) assess future water demands for municipal water use, agricultural water use, and water use in electricity generation for Nevada. Under several scenarios, the water demands in each sector are projected for 2015 and 2030. The scenarios developed include alternate scenarios that demonstrate the positive impact of water use efficiency, energy efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. 

Findings suggest that climate change will likely have the most substantial impacts on water use in the agricultural sector in Nevada. The report provides a 'Climate Change scenario'  for the agricultural sector, in which irrigation water demands are projected to increase an additional 73,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) in 2030.

In the conclusion, the projected scenarios are merged in order to provide a broader perspective on Nevada’s future water demands. Several measures are proposed to address the policy gaps, connect energy and water decisions, and promote integrated planning. Some of the adaptive recommendations are to: accelerate water conservation to provide energy savings and accelerate energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources to provide water savings; accurately reflect the value of energy and water in utility planning processes; "be creative" (for example thermoelectric power plants utilizing secondary water supplies, such as treated wastewater); states’ renewable portfolio standards and fuel standards should be “water smart;” and to recognize the benefits of decentralized solutions.

This report is one of a series prepared by Western Resource Advocates on the competing water demands of growing cities, agriculture, electricity generation, and the environment. It was funded by grants from the National Renewable Energy Lab and the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation.

Publication Date: 2008

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Stacy Tellinghuisen
  • David Berry
  • Bart Miller
  • Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi
  • Charles Benjamin
  • Nicole Theerasatiankul

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  • Best practice
  • Scenario planning

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