2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Understanding the Water-Energy Nexus in Urban Areas: A Cluster Analysis of Urban Water and Energy Consumption

Ms. Lufan Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Presenter)
Ms. Nora El-Gohary, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The rapid urbanization and population growth are changing the global water- and energy-use patterns. A better understanding of the complex interactions between the urban water and energy systems is crucial in developing healthy, resilient, and sustainable cities. Although the water-energy nexus has attracted much research attention in recent years, substantial knowledge gaps still exist. There is still a limited understanding of the interrelationships between urban water and energy usage. First, most of the existing efforts analyzed water and energy usage separately. Second, they used a limited number of cases in their analyses. Towards addressing these knowledge gaps, this paper proposes a data-driven methodology for identifying and understanding the different water and energy consumption patterns of cities. A cluster analysis of 89 U.S. cities was conducted, taking socioeconomic factors (e.g., population, median household income, and total number of housing units), local climate conditions, and water and energy consumption data into account. The results show that the cluster analysis can help identify and characterize urban water-energy consumption patterns. These patterns could provide insights to support water-and-energy decision and policy making.