According to Klaus Reichardt, founder and CEO of Waterless Co., Inc., drilling for water, storing water, and delivering water to and from facilities uses a considerable amount of energy.
"This means if we can conserve water and use it more efficiently, we can also save energy," explains Reichardt.
For example, at least 19 percent of all the energy currently used in California is expended just to transport water. Taking this a step further, some experts now believe most of the energy consumed in the Western half of the United States is in some way related to water production or delivery.
"In many ways, all of our conservation and sustainability efforts are interconnected in some way," says Reichardt. "But with water, the connection with energy — and, with that, the need for imported oil — is rather dramatic."
Reichardt adds that this is true not only in the U.S. but all over the world, especially in underdeveloped countries where serious water shortages are becoming an everyday occurrence.
"[In] many areas of the world, water is accessible but the power, fuel, and energy necessary to drill and deliver it are not," he says. "This is why for millions of women in underdeveloped countries, their number one job each day is to walk several miles just to find water and bring it [back] home to their families."
Reichardt suggests that as Earth Day approaches, North Americans should try to view turning on a water tap as they would turning on a power generator: "Do it, but do it wisely."