SRP is constantly planning for an assured, resilient water supply for the Valley. By learning how Arizona businesses use water, we’ve been able to identify millions of gallons in water savings.
We’ve been working with local universities to conduct water conservation research and take the lead on sustainability and innovation in the Valley. SRP is currently sponsoring three different water conservation research projects. Here’s what their studies have to say about water conservation.
University of Arizona analyzing the relationship between land and water use
A study conducted by the University of Arizona evaluated the Valley’s land and water use to investigate development patterns that can improve SRP’s understanding of water use associated with different land use types. By understanding the relationship between urban density, type of land use, and water consumption, SRP can better prepare for anticipated changes in the future.
The study found that the majority of water consumption within the SRP region is by single-family residential properties. Changes in water use at the single-family household level, particularly outdoors, have great potential to accrue water savings across the service area.
University of Arizona looks at water and energy use in data centers
Professors and graduate students at the University of Arizona conducted a case study to observe two different types of cooling systems used in data centers and water and energy consumption. This study is relevant to our growing community as Phoenix is predicted to be the second-largest data center market in the United States.
The study concluded that the cooling technologies used within data centers are water- and energy-intensive. The researchers came up with a few alternatives to improve water and energy savings, which could ideally be incorporated into a variety of different buildings in addition to data centers. Using hybrid cooling systems, evaporative cooling systems and economizer modes can result in significant water and energy savings.
From the research, the team created “DC E-Wise,” a multi-criteria decision support tool (MCDST) of data center airflow design and cooling system selection for managing energy and water impacts in the Greater Phoenix area. Key stakeholders in the data center industry and utilities can use DC E-WISE to better inform the water and energy tradeoffs in cooling system performance. The DC E-WISE platform can transform how water and energy resources are used by different cooling systems in data centers.
Arizona State University studies on canal/pipe leak detection
Water losses can occur due to canal and pipe leaks. Being able to identify where repairs may be needed in the future will help us better maintain our canal system as well as our water supply.
Two projects are being conducted by Arizona State University to identify locations of leakage in our canal and pipe system using satellite and drone images. The new technologies may help detect potential leak locations along great lengths of our canal/pipe system within relatively short time frames.
Another project is focusing on robot applications in pipeline inspection. Our pipes contain roots, sediment and various debris. These obstacles pose difficulties for conventional video inspection. Soft robots may help carry sensors that can pass through those partially blocked segments.
Conserving water together
SRP is constantly learning about innovative technologies and how to make our operations more water-efficient, and we’re helping other entities in the Valley do the same.