The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

ECAM tool

Decarbonisation of water utilities- Tool for energy and carbon emission assessment

The impacts of climate change pose an increasing burden to how drinking water and wastewater utilities maintain the security of their supply and the operational performance of its infrastructure. At the same time the supply of water and the treatment of used water leads to substantial greenhouse gas emissions, caused e.g. by water loss and inefficiencies in the urban water systems.

These challenges however, can provide a window of opportunity to initiate a much needed paradigm shift towards low-energy, low-carbon and climate resilient urban water services. Drinking water and wastewater utilities can reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency measures, but also through reducing the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) related to wastewater treatment and discharge. Implementing improvement measures has multiple benefits as it allows utilities to reduce their operational costs, improve their service to the public and protect the environment.