The carbon footprint of water management policy options

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Energy Policy



First page number:


Last page number:



The growing concerns of global warming and climate change have forced water providers to scrutinize the energy for water production and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with it. A system dynamics model is developed to estimate the energy requirements to move water from the water source to the distribution laterals of the Las Vegas Valley and to analyze the carbon footprint associated with it. The results show that at present nearly 0.85 million megawatt hours per year (MWh/y) energy is required for conveyance of water in distribution laterals of the Valley from Lake Mead resulting in approximately 0.53 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Considering the current mix of fuel source, the energy and CO2 emissions will increase to 1.34 million MWh/y and 0.84 million metric tons per year, respectively, by the year 2035. Various scenarios including change in population growth rate, water conservation, increase in water reuse, change in the Lake level, change in fuel sources, change in emission rates, and combination of multiple scenarios are analyzed to study their impact on energy requirements and associated CO2 emissions.


Carbon dioxide; Carbon footprint; Climatic changes; Global warming; Greenhouse gases; Nevada – Las Vegas Valley; System dynamics; Water conveyance; Water transfer — Energy consumption; Water-supply – Management


Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management




Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

Publisher Citation

Eleeja Shrestha, Sajjad Ahmad, Walter Johnson, Jacimaria R. Batista, The carbon footprint of water management policy options, Energy Policy, Volume 42, March 2012, Pages 201-212, ISSN 0301-4215, 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.11.074. (

UNLV article access

Search your library