Ellie Electron sat fidgeting. (But then again electrons are always a bit jumpy, aren’t they?) Her friend Polly Proton had set her up with a blind date. The couple planned to rendezvous at the Sub-Station, the local hot spot, lively with electrons whizzing hither and thither. Ellie didn’t know her date’s name, but he’d said she wouldn’t have any trouble picking him out in the crowd.
Imagine her shock when none other than Dewey Droppe appeared carrying a small bouquet of… quarks (?!?) Dewey, not actually a full-grown drop – just a water molecule, had recently beaded up atop a high voltage power line. Perched there, he caught a glimpse of that cute, sparkly Ellie and was smitten. So he begged his friend Polly to set him up.
“Are you out of your orbit?” Polly retorted. “You’re an H2O molecule and Ellie’s an electric spark. What could you possibly have in common?”
Dewey anticipated the question and had a ready response. He told Polly about the surprisingly parallel paths of water and energy use. Because of the great quantities of water needed to produce and distribute energy, the more electricity that’s generated and distributed, the more water is needed. In fact, a typical home uses more water just to produce the energy it uses than that home uses as actual water for drinking and bathing etc. He went on to explain that most Americans just don’t realize how much water is needed to make the energy they use. For example, for every 1,000 gallons of H2O used to water a lawn, another 600 gallons are used to produce the electricity to pump and distribute that water.
“Or think of it this way,” Dewey continued. “When you reduce electricity use you also reduce water use. For every kilowatt-hour you don’t use you also save an average of 50-80 gallons of water that would have been needed for generation and distribution of that electricity. So you see, water and electricity DO go hand-in-hand,” winked Dewey.
Needless to say, Ellie and Dewey had a terrific time and perhaps a bright future together. But one lingering doubt nagged at Dewey. Eventually he just blurted it out. “Ellie, I just gotta know. Were you generated by fossil fuel?”
Ellie blushed. “No Dewey, I’m clean - 100% PV solar. I’m clean for you and for everyone because we’ll be here forever… Earthbound.”