Dwindling natural resources have raised concerns about the connection between water and energy, a link that experts call the “water-energy nexus.”
The paradox is that huge quantities of water are required to produce energy and, likewise, 10 percent of the world’s energy is used to pump and process water for consumption.
As a company committed to both economic and environmental sustainability, Grundfos sponsored an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., to discuss this water-energy nexus and proposed solutions. Entitled “Energy, Water and Debt: Linked Problems, Common Solutions,” the event brought together leading public policy thinkers and decision-makers to discuss measures for promoting a more energy-efficient water infrastructure.
Jes Munk Hansen, president of Grundfos North America, spoke on a panel to critically assess current proposed solutions. He acknowledged that the water crisis issue was a complicated one.
“I think it is clear to all of us that we cannot simply drill thousands of more wells,” Hansen said.
But in spite of the complexity of the problem, Hansen said he thought there was a lot of good news also.
“There are technologies we can apply already today,” Hansen said. “I think there is a real opportunity here for a win-win-win situation here for consumers, industry and society.”
Hansen focused on the role of technology in reducing consumption. He pointed out that the majority of pumps only need to run on full capacity a mere 5 percent of the time, yet most run at 100 percent capacity 100 percent of the time.
Hansen compared this to leaving your car running even when you’ve arrived at home for the evening and don’t plan on using it until the next day. Pumps that adjust to varying demands, like the Grundfos ALPHA and MAGNA, can exceed a 60-percent reduction in energy consumption, slashing environmental impact and saving huge amounts of money.
Hansen said he noted a consensus among participants that we need to act now to solve the water crisis.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to step up and take leadership,” Hansen said.