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Evaluating options for balancing the water-electricity nexus in California: part 1--securing water availability.

  • Author(s): Tarroja, Brian;
  • AghaKouchak, Amir;
  • Sobhani, Reza;
  • Feldman, David;
  • Jiang, Sunny;
  • Samuelsen, Scott
  • et al.

The technical potential and effectiveness of different water supply options for securing water availability in a large-scale, interconnected water supply system under historical and climate-change augmented inflow and demand conditions were compared. Part 1 of the study focused on determining the scale of the options required to secure water availability and compared the effectiveness of different options. A spatially and temporally resolved model of California's major surface reservoirs was developed, and its sensitivity to urban water conservation, desalination, and water reuse was examined. Potential capacities of the different options were determined. Under historical (baseline) hydrology conditions, many individual options were found to be capable of securing water availability alone. Under climate change augment conditions, a portfolio approach was necessary. The water savings from many individual options other than desalination were insufficient in the latter, however, relying on seawater desalination alone requires extreme capacity installations which have energy, brine disposal, management, and cost implications. The importance of identifying and utilizing points of leverage in the system for choosing where to deploy different options is also demonstrated.

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