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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
(2021)

Energy Savings from Moulton Niguel Water District Water Efficiency Programs

Aqua lake surrounded by forested hills

Group Members: Pat Byrne, Claudia Flores, Jaleise Hall, Ruoyu Wang, Jakob Wilford-Bivin

Faculty Advisors: Arturo Keller, Eric Masanet

Client: Moulton Niguel Water District

Website: we-nexus.wixsite.com

Contact: gp‑nexus@bren.ucsb.edu

Deliverables:

Group Project Proposal

Final Report

Executive Summary

Final Presentation

Description

The movement, treatment and heating of water comprises 19% of California’s overall electricity use and 10% of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The well-established link between water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions can be used to identify potential savings and mitigation strategies from water efficiency rebate programs. This project aims to quantify the co-benefits of water efficiency programs in a clear and straightforward manner. This will provide insight to utilities on where their future efforts should be focused on for further water and energy savings and GHG mitigation. Working with Moulton Niguel Water District, and referencing their previous study partnered with University of California, Riverside (UCR), analyses were conducted using a series of multivariable regression models along with a difference-in-difference approach. This project produced differing results from that of the UCR study for water savings; however, similar trends were found relating to indoor rebate programs (i.e., high-efficiency toilets, high-efficiency clothes washers). Embedded energy was found to be largely dependent on upstream energy use while embedded GHG emissions were found to have decreased significantly over time due to reductions in grid emissions factors. The results from this project demonstrate that energy savings resulting from water saved through efficiency programs can be quantified, and that these energy savings can then be translated into mitigated greenhouse gas emissions.

Acknowledgements

Ken Baerenklau, Associate Provost, University of California, Riverside

Dane Johnson, Irvine Water Ranch District

Christopher Tull, California Data Collaborative

Bren School: Niklas Griessbaum, PhD Candidate; Allison Horst, Lecturer; Bob Wilkinson, Adjunct Professor; Mark Buntaine, Associate Professor; Scott Jasechko, Assistant Professor

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: Drew Atwater, Bill McDonnell, Warren Teitz

Moulton Niguel Water District: Ronin Goodall, Monobina Mukherjee

San Diego Gas & Electric

Southern California Edison

Yardi Systems, Inc.