Power Industry Impact On Southeast US Water Supplies

Jul 16, 2013

Credit http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/31/1523301/energy-water-double-2035/?mobile=nc

A report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzes the power industry’s impact on regional water supplies in the US.                

The report outlines how potential changes within the power industry could lower the draw on water sources. UCS Senior Energy Analyst John Rogers told WUOT that efforts to grow the nation’s nuclear industry could threaten water supplies, particularly in the Southeast and the Southwest…

Nuclear, and also coal, with carbon capture and storage, those are two technologies that do have potential to address our carbon emissions, but that also have pretty high water demand… So we found that the coal with carbon capture and storage and nuclear scenario would lead to greater water use by 2050 than under the other scenarios. Water consumption would be 14% higher than under today’s levels… it’s clear that low carbon options aren’t necessarily low water.”

Rogers says strong investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency would reduce the power industry’s water use and carbon emissions by 97% by 2050, mostly within the next 20 years.