Drinking water distribution entails bringing drinking quality water to end users at an adequate pressure. Drinking water distribution energy and GHG emissions can be affected by some of the other stages in the water cycle, as noted on the left side column, in particular by the volume and by the location of the source of water. However, other factors can impact this stage’s energy consumption and GHG emissions:

  • Water loss in the distribution system.
  • Pumping efficiency.
  • Distribution network design and local topography (hilly or flat).
  • Energy source (renewable, fossil fuels, grid energy mix).
  • Recovering energy from water running downhill (topographic energy).
Impacted by: Impacts:
Drinking Water Treatment

The distance and elevation of the drinking water treatment facilities will dictate how much energy is needed to convey the water to the end users at an adequate pressure.

Water Abstraction

Water loss in the distribution systems increases the volume of water abstracted and its associated energy requirements.

End users

The volume of water distributed, and therefore the energy required, is driven by the demand of end users and how efficient they are in their water use.

Drinking Water Treatment

Water loss in the drinking water distribution system increases the volume of water treated, and therefore the energy requirements.

What can you do?

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