The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and industry leaders have identified the need for an energy roadmap to guide utilities of all sizes down the road to overall sustainable energy management through increased renewable energy production and energy conservation. This roadmap leverages a framework developed by the electric power sector. Known as the The Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM), the framework moved the industry toward “Smart Grid” technology. The basis of the Energy Roadmap originated at a workshop of water and power industry leaders convened by WEF in North Carolina in March 2012. Case studies were analyzed from successful utilities in Austria, Holland, Australia, and the United States. High level, strategic best practices were identified and organized into topic areas, which define the level of progression (enable, integrate and optimize) towards achieving energy sustainability.
As a living document, the roadmap is always under review by dedicated groups within the industry. A number of utilities worldwide have already taken the leap and begun this transformation towards resource recovery and many more are peering over the edge. The WEF Energy Roadmap is intended to guide utilities of all sizes as they progress toward becoming treatment plants of the future. While it is not practical for all wastewater treatment plants to become energy positive or neutral, all can take steps towards increasing energy sustainability.
A key component of the WEF Energy Roadmap is collaboration between water/wastewater utilities and electric utilities. This paper focuses on lessons learned and case studies about energy and water utilities working together to address energy-water nexus challenges. This paper examines perspectives both from energy use at water sector facilities and water use at energy sector facilities.