WIT Press

Energy, Water And Environmental Balance Of A Complex Water Supply System


Free (open access)





Page Range

67 - 77




1,336 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Sambito, V. Puleo, G. Freni


The present paper describes the analysis of water and energy balance in a complex urban water supply system. The analysis was carried out employing Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodologies. The LCA approach was integrated with the analysis of the system energy and water balance. For a real size water supply system, based on the results of the individual LCAs, the current baseline was constructed highlighting the water, energy and environmental (in terms of CO2eq emissions in the atmosphere) costs of supplied water. Then, three different mitigation measures have been evaluated: the first is based on energy production by installation of photovoltaic systems; the second is based on energy recovery by means of hydraulic turbines, exploiting the available pressure potential to produce energy; the third based on energy optimization of pumping stations by installing inverter systems, replacement of rotors with optimized blade profiles and installation of automation systems and self-control. Also the possibility of substituting some of the pipes of the water supply system was considered in the recovery scenario in order to reduce leakages and recovery the energy needed for leakages transport and treatment. The analysis of the results shown that energy recovery scenario is the most reliable solution even without any pipe substitution. Thanks to the recovery of energy and limiting the environmental impact of the system, the CO2eq production per cubic meter of supplied water was reduced from 0.41 to 0.07 kg CO2eq/m3 of supplied water.


life cycle assessment, scenario analysis, potable water supply, sanitation, urban water systems