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The recent interest in sensor networks has led to a number of routing schemes that use the limited resources available at sensor nodes more efficiently. These schemes typically try to find the minimum energy path to optimize energy usage at a node. In this paper we take the view that always using lowest energy paths may not be optimal from the point of view of network lifetime and long-term connectivity. To optimize these measures, we propose a new scheme called energy aware routing that uses sub-optimal paths occasionally to provide substantial gains. Simulation results are also presented that show increase in network lifetimes of up to 40% over comparable schemes like directed diffusion routing. Nodes also burn energy in a more equitable way across the network ensuring a more graceful degradation of service with time.