Water Dependence Risks for America's Aging Coal Fleet

Published Mar 18, 2013


In the coming years, increasingly warm and dry conditions and longer droughts will affect water availability in many parts of the country.

Water-intensive coal plants are particularly vulnerable to energy-water collisions, which occur when insufficient water is available or water temperatures are too warm for power plant cooling.

Upgrading these plants to use cooling systems with lower water withdrawal needs would incur significant costs for many plants that are already economically uncompetitive, making them even stronger candidates for closure.

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