The Water-Energy Nexus


We recently experienced some unusually cold weather in the Southeast that approached or even surpassed record lows.  These extreme temperatures created an environment that produced numerous issues with facilities of all types across our region.  Perhaps one of the most significant impacts felt by many was the impact to our water supply.


With lows that dropped to as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chills driving the temperatures well below zero, numerous residents in Georgia and the Carolinas had the misfortune to experience what happens when water that is trapped within systems of piping changes state…from water to ice.  Sometimes we take for granted these hidden systems of piping that bring water to our faucets until a major weather event such as what happened on January 7 occurs and severely impacts our daily routine.  If you have seen any news in the past week or so, you have probably seen how a chemical spill crippled an entire state (West Virginia) for nearly a week.


When I see the unending reports of burst water pipes and the damage and impact it has on so many lives, I see what has been more commonly termed in the media as energy dependence.  I believe that most think of oil and gas when we they hear energy dependence and, admittedly, so do I, but I also very much think of the most precious resource we have—water.  You see, we really cannot have energy without water, and we cannot (at least easily) have water without energy.  What lies herein is the water-energy nexus, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a link to more detailed discussion of this connection between water and energy.  Enjoy!

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Overview of the Water-Energy Nexus in the U.S.


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About Matt Norman


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Matt Norman is the director of Energy Services at McKenney’s and is responsible for our energy-related management, engineering and commissioning teams. He regularly consults with building owners and managers who are seeking measurable energy efficiency gains through equipment right-sizing and advance system controls. Along with other notable projects, Matt’s portfolio includes the Duke Energy Center—the first-ever LEED® Platinum-certified commercial office building under the LEED Core & Shell rating system.

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