Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity
Did you know?
- 'for every gallon of residential water used in an average household, five times more is used to provide that home with electricity via hydropower turbines and fossil fuel power plants'
- 'The water footprint of electricity is highest for hydropower: each day, enough water to meet the demands of more than 50 million people evaporates from reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams.'
- 'electricity production by coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants is the fastest-growing use of freshwater in the U.S., accounting for more than about ½ of all fresh, surface water withdrawals from rivers and lakes. This is more than any other economic sector, including agriculture, and occurs in an era when all other use sectors are reducing water withdrawals.'
- 'experimental"clean coal" technologies are only expected to significantly increase water use.'
- 'More than a quarter of the water withdrawn by fossil-fuel power plants to cool their generators goes up in steam; the remainder carries pollutants and excess heat into rivers and waterways, causing fish kills and algae blooms.'
Download the report @ http://www.rivernetwork.org/news/burning-our-rivers-water-footprint-electricity . Plenty of food for thought there.
Although this study is based in the US, it could serve as a very useful guide for other countries too. I invite those who know of similar reports for other economies, particularly developing economies to share their views/knowledge here...
Wishing each of you a very happy 2013. Let's work together to understand this complex topic better and spread the word about its significance to our future.