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Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities?

Publication ,  Journal Article
Lam, KL; van der Hoek, JP
Published in: Environmental science & technology
December 2020

The provision of urban water and wastewater services contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban water supply and wastewater utilities can potentially achieve low-carbon or carbon-neutral operation through many "utility opportunities". Outside the jurisdiction of water utilities, many water-related "wider opportunities" can also contribute to GHG emissions abatement for cities. This study aims to explore the GHG emissions abatement potential, cost effectiveness, and enabling factors of implementing wider opportunities in cities. Using Amsterdam as a case study, we developed a marginal abatement cost curve to compare the abatement potential and cost effectiveness of both utility and wider opportunities. The results show that many wider opportunities related to thermal energy, water end use, and life cycle are cost-effective with significant abatement potential, compared to utility opportunities. This case study and emerging worldwide examples show that the water industry has a role to play to support wider water-related opportunities in cities. This vision can be supported by developing mechanisms to credit utilities for wider opportunity initiatives, building inter- and intrasectoral partnerships for utilities, accounting for scope 3 emissions of utilities, and being open to extend utilities' role beyond water and wastewater services providers.

Duke Scholars

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Published In

Environmental science & technology

DOI

EISSN

1520-5851

ISSN

0013-936X

Publication Date

December 2020

Volume

54

Issue

23

Start / End Page

14854 / 14861

Related Subject Headings

  • Water
  • Wastewater
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Cities
  • Carbon
 

Citation

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Lam, K. L., & van der Hoek, J. P. (2020). Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities? Environmental Science & Technology, 54(23), 14854–14861. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c05385
Lam, Ka Leung, and Jan Peter van der Hoek. “Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities?Environmental Science & Technology 54, no. 23 (December 2020): 14854–61. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c05385.
Lam KL, van der Hoek JP. Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities? Environmental science & technology. 2020 Dec;54(23):14854–61.
Lam, Ka Leung, and Jan Peter van der Hoek. “Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities?Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 54, no. 23, Dec. 2020, pp. 14854–61. Epmc, doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c05385.
Lam KL, van der Hoek JP. Low-Carbon Urban Water Systems: Opportunities beyond Water and Wastewater Utilities? Environmental science & technology. 2020 Dec;54(23):14854–14861.
Journal cover image

Published In

Environmental science & technology

DOI

EISSN

1520-5851

ISSN

0013-936X

Publication Date

December 2020

Volume

54

Issue

23

Start / End Page

14854 / 14861

Related Subject Headings

  • Water
  • Wastewater
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Cities
  • Carbon