Global coal industry using as much water as a billion people each year

map: coal-fired power plants and regions of water scarcity in the USA

We already know that coal-fired power plants are bad for the planet, but that’s usually because we are just thinking about the enormous amounts of carbon dioxide emissions they contribute to our atmosphere. A new Greenpeace report entitled The Great Water Grab sheds light on another terrifying aspect of the coal industry – its astronomical water consumption. The report suggests that the global coal industry uses the same amount of … [more…]

Intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing

Map of water stress and shale plays; hydraulic fracturing

Abstract

Unconventional oil and gas exploration in the United States has experienced a period of rapid growth, followed by several years of limited production due to falling and low natural gas and oil prices. Throughout this transition, the water use for hydraulic fracturing and wastewater production in major shale gas and oil production regions has increased; from 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased up to 770%, while … [more…]