Water Security

Water Security

As our naturally occurring easily exploitable water resources have reached their limit, we search for new water resources. Over extraction of bore water is destroying land and reducing biodiversity and rivers are being dammed which impacts agricultural use of the river downstream. Governments have no choice but to build desalination plants and suddenly our surplus water can just as well be thought of as electricity usage.

Water Saving

Just as energy saving is important, water saving is also important. In Australia our water management is very poor. It is not uncommon to walk down the street on a hot day and see sprinklers spilling thousands of litres onto pavements and into drains. This translates directly to energy down the drain and should be prevented. Households have installed automatic reticulation systems which will turn on periodically despite the presence of rain and our addiction to unsustainable gardens in hot climates requires significant water to be consumed.

Furthermore, we should consider the water which is used in fossil fuel processes such as nuclear and coal which are both very water intensive processes.

Wave Energy

Apart from obviously changing our habits regarding excessive water use, an interesting technology which shows promise in Australia is CETO's wave energy systems. These systems produce electricity from thousands of submersed buoys which oscillate under the water surface as well as providing clean drinking water at the flick of a switch. These systems can benefit our electricity requirements, demand management systems and water supplies. The only barrier to wave energy introduction on a wide scale is technology and cost. Wave energy systems made for Australian coastlines are new developments are still designing optimal systems at the lowest price points. As they are new systems, the cost of producing electricity is some 2 times the cost of coal, however like any new technology, through economies of scale this will become price competitive as the industry develops.