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The Urban Energy-Water Nexus: Utility-Level Water Flows and Embedded Energy

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Created: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:31 p.m.
Last updated: Feb 20, 2018 at 1:26 a.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.df04c29d0ff64de0ace2d29145dd7680
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Sharing Status: Published
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There are limited open source data available for determining water production/treatment and required energy for cities across the United States. This database represents the culmination of a two-year effort to obtain data from cities across the United States via open records requests in order to determine the state of the U.S. urban energy-water nexus. Data were requested at the daily or monthly scale when available for 127 cities across the United States, represented by 253 distinct water and sewer districts. Data were requested from cities larger than 100,000 people and from each state. In the case of states that did not have cities that met these criteria, the largest cities in those states were selected. The resulting database represents a drinking water service population of 81.4 million and a wastewater service population of 86.2 million people. Average daily demands for the United States were calculated to be 560 liters per capita for drinking water and 500 liters per capita of wastewater. The embedded energy within each of these resources is 340 kWh/1000 m3 and 430 kWh/1000 m3, respectively. Drinking water data at the annual scale are available for production volume (89 cities) and for embedded energy (73 cities). Annual wastewater data are available for treated volume (104 cities) and embedded energy (90 cities). Monthly data are available for drinking water volume and embedded energy (73 and 56 cities) and wastewater volume and embedded energy (88 and 70 cities). Please see the two related papers for this database under "Related Resources."

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Related Resources

This resource is referenced by Where are all the data? The case for a comprehensive water and wastewater utility database (2017). Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. 143(3). DOI:
This resource is referenced by The State of U.S. Urban Water: Data and the Energy-Water Nexus (2018). Water Resources Research.


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

How to Cite

Chini, C., A. S. Stillwell (2018). The Urban Energy-Water Nexus: Utility-Level Water Flows and Embedded Energy, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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