Environmental Engineering Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-3-2013


Martin Gakuria, Preliminary Analysis of GHG Production from the Lincoln Water System to Determine Operating Energy and Infrastructure Construction Impacts, MS Thesis, University of Nebraska, 2013.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Environmental Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Bruce I. Dvorak. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Martin Gakuria


The Lincoln Water System (LWS) provides water to the citizens, industries, and commercial areas within and near the City of Lincoln, Nebraska. The intent of this thesis is to determine if reductions in future per capita water demand will help reduce the building of infrastructure and reduce future pumping costs and uses the computation of greenhouse gasses to compare the effects of different degrees of water conservation.

Data analysis was performed on water production statistics and data (1994-2011) collected and provided by the City of Lincoln, Nebraska. Projections in accordance with the Lincoln-Lancaster County 2040 Comprehensive Plan were made to determine the water demand by the year 2019, taking into account the increased population. A computerized hydraulic model of the city infrastructure was used to calculate the current and future effects on needed distribution system infrastructure due to increased water demand and land growth projections. Various Scenarios were modeled to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions based on Water Demands that varied from:

  • 10 percent reduction applied to the entire City,
  • 30 percent reduction applied to the entire City, and
  • 10 percent reduction to existing City land and 30 percent reduction to new and future developments

The results of these models were that reductions in future water demand could be achieved and the resulting Greenhouse Gas emissions were less than if the city maintains it’s present course of activity and usage. An analysis was made that shows the infrastructure of new water mains can be reduced in diameter without adversely affecting fire protection requirements.

Reduction of future water demands will help reduce future building of infrastructure. This in turn will reduce greenhouse gas production, either directly or indirectly caused by infrastructure construction and water production. By comparing the greenhouse gas emissions related to these various scenarios of current and future City growth, the benefits of reduced consumption for wise management of the available limited water resources were shown.

Advisor: Bruce I. Dvorak