Power and Water At Risk

The Energy-Water Collision

Published Jun 2, 2011


Our electricity system’s dependence on water runs deep.

Water’s role in hydropower—and the risks to hydroelectric generation when water is unavailable—are clear.

But large steam-generating power plants (particularly the fossil-fuel- and nuclear-powered plants that produce the lion’s share of our electricity) also rely—often heavily—on water for cooling purposes.

Water resources, however, are under increasing pressure and in some instances have been unable to meet power plant cooling needs.

As our demand for electricity continues to rise, the water dependence of many power plants puts the electricity sector, water resources, and other water users at growing risk.

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