In the first part of our Energy-Water Nexus Series, we explored the interdependent relationship between energy and water in our water supply system. We discovered that water travels over hundreds of miles before it reaches our taps. The Mediterranean climate of Los Angeles means it rarely rains, and we rely heavily on imported water. Typically, energy-intensive systems are used to transport water from the State Water Project, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and the Colorado River Aqueduct to our homes, emphasizing the importance of conserving water and energy (1). This week, we investigate what goes on during the transport of our water from source to tap, and the ways we can conserve energy and water once it gets to our homes.
If our water sources are natural, why and how is our water treated?
While the sources of water are very pure, it collects sediments and organics along the water and must be treated before it is safe to consume. Because of this, water is treated using conventional treatment including coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. After treatment, water is distributed through pipes leading to homes and businesses. Purple pipe transports recycled water for non-potable (non-human consumption) uses like irrigation.