Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Molinos-Senante M., Maziotis A. (2022)

Influence of environmental variables on the energy efficiency of drinking water treatment plants

Revista : Science of the Total Environment
Volumen : 833
Páginas : 155246
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Evaluating and benchmarking the energy efficiency of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) is essential to improve the environmental and economic performance of these facilities. However, robust and reliable methods should be used to compute energy efficiency scores to avoid biased conclusions. In this study, the stochastic non-parametric envelopment of data (StoNED) method was employed to assess the energy efficiency of a sample of 146 DWTPs. This methodological approach also allowed us to explore the influence of several environmental variables on the energy performance of DWTPs. The average energy efficiency score of the facilities evaluated was 0.461. It means that they could save 54% of the current energy consumption. 42% of the DWTPs evaluated presented an average energy efficiency score varied between 0.41 and 0.61. None of the 146 water treatment facilities was identified as fully energy efficient which evidences that all DWTPs could save energy. The source of raw water, the age of the DWTP and the main technology used to treat raw water were factors that statistically affected the energy efficiency of DWTPs. It was also estimated that a 1% increase in the removal of total dissolved solids and sulfates result in an increase in energy consumption by 0.340 and 0.409%, respectively, ceteris paribus. The information and conclusions of this study are of great interest for water managers and regulators to improve the operation of DWTPs and plan the design of new facilities.