American Water
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Reducing Environmental Impact

Reducing GHG Emissions
American Water is committed to lowering our GHG emissions per volume of water sold. To accomplish this goal, we plan to invest significant capital over the next six years to decrease our GHG intensity by 16% through a combination of increasing pump efficiencies, purchasing cleaner generated energy sources, reducing our fleet, and increasing the use of onsite solar and other alternative energy producing methods.

The vast majority of energy utilized by water companies is consumed to pump water. At American Water, our research indicates that approximately 97 percent of our electricity consumption and 90 percent of our GHG emissions are the products of the water delivery process, which includes pumping water from its source (ground or surface water systems) to treatment and storage facilities and on to customers.

Research has shown that the average "wire-to-water" efficiency of existing "in-field" water utility pumps is about 55 percent. New installations are designed to achieve efficiency ratings of between 76 percent and 82 percent. American Water sees this as a major opportunity to decrease its carbon footprint. By replacing or refurbishing older pumps, our studies have shown that pump efficiency can improve by as much as 20 percent.

In 2010, we implemented a program to conduct wire-to-water testing at American Water locations targeted due to high energy use. The majority of this testing was completed in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, we will complete the efficiency data analysis and related capital planning and begin our capital investment program that will lead American Water to a path of greater pump efficiency. Upon completion of our planning and data gathering in 2011, we will begin to implement our pump replacement and refurbishment plan in late 2011.

American Water uses a combination of natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuel in our operations. Natural gas is primarily used to heat our office buildings and treatment facilities. Gasoline and diesel are used in our fleet vehicles. Diesel is also used in our emergency generators.

In 2010, approximately 92 percent of our GHG emissions were from purchased electricity.

Total Direct and Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To view a full-size version of the graph, or to download a pdf of the graph, click on the graph thumbnail image.

Fleet Efficiency
About 5 percent of American Water's GHG emissions come from our vehicle fleet, which are used to operate and maintain our water and wastewater systems. We continue to work with public utility commissions in the states in which we operate to obtain approval for the increased purchase of high-efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles. While our success has been limited to several of the more progressive states, we will continue to push this initiative and expect to see increased success in the future. Currently, we have 37 hybrid vehicles and two natural gas powered vehicles, mainly in Pennsylvania, but also in New Jersey, California, Illinois and Iowa. We also recently initiated a "No Idle" policy, which will decrease total fleet GHG emissions.

Increasing Lighting Efficiency
American Water has an active program to ensure that our facilities are operating with updated, energy efficient lighting technology. While lighting improvement projects are a good use of capital dollars, the impact on our carbon footprint will be minimal because lighting represents a small portion of our overall electricity use.

Increasing Our Production of Green Power
In 2005, American Water constructed what was, at the time, the largest ground-mounted solar array east of the Rocky Mountains in New Jersey. Since then, we have expanded that system and installed an additional solar array at an adjacent facility. In 2010, these two facilities generated 864,667 kWh of green power and saved approximately one million pounds of CO2 emissions from being released.

American Water is due to complete two capital projects in 2011 that will expand our solar capacity by approximately 240 kW. In addition, American Water has plans to expand our solar capacity in 2012 and 2013 by almost 2 megawatts (MW).

To produce additional green power, we commissioned solar site surveys at 13 American Water facilities across New Jersey. The surveys found numerous promising sites at which we will pursue the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in order to meet our goal. We are also exploring the generation of bio-fuels and bio-energy at our wastewater treatment plants to convert the incoming organic waste into less carbon-intensive green energy.

Solar Array20102009
Electricity generated864,667 kWh818,000 kWh

Increasing Our Purchase of Green Energy and Carbon Credits
American Water has been a purchaser of green power for some years. One hundred percent of the 1,400,000 kWh of energy used annually at our Yardley, Pennsylvania plant comes from wind power. In 2009, this green wind energy supply saved 1.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

The following metrics are based on renewable energy used by American Water's regulated businesses only. The solar energy usage is based on the electricity output of American Water's solar generation. One hundred percent of the electricity produced by our solar generation is consumed by company facilities. The wind energy is purchased from a third-party vendor and is consumed at our water treatment plant in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Renewable Electric Generation Consumed

 20102009
Wind1,406,208 kWh1,375,104 kWh
Solar864,667 kWh861,989 kWh

Recycled Material
A large number of products purchased by American Water are produced utilizing recycled materials. With respect to infrastructural items, all iron castings whether ductile or other are manufactured by melting ferrous scrap mixes, depending on availability and pricing. Such items would include ductile iron pipe and fittings, hydrants, valve bodies, curb and valve box castings, iron lids, etc. For our regulated business, buried infrastructure materials produced from recycled material accounted for 76 percent of the buried infrastructure purchases in 2010.

A number of treatment chemicals also utilize recycled material in their production. These would include the ferrous and ferric salts (ferric sulfate and ferric chloride) which are manufactured using ferrous scrap. The remaining chemicals are produced using virgin materials. For 2010, treatment chemicals produced from recycled material and used by our regulated business, accounted for 11 percent of the treatment chemical purchases across American Water.

Additional Environmental Performance Metrics