America uses 322 billion gallons of water each day. Here’s where it goes.

America uses 322 billion gallons of water each day. Here’s where it goes.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/iofoto

From cooling power plants to quenching thirst and growing crops, water is part of everything we do.

February 22, 2019 — As climate change, urban development, irrigation and other factors are altering the availability of water, it’s important to understand how we use water on a daily basis in the U.S. — and where the opportunities are for using it more wisely.

A recent report from the … [more…]

Coal Ash Dumps Are Contaminating Groundwater in 22 States

photo: Coal Ash Dumps Contaminating Groundwater in 22 States

Coal ash located at the Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries, Virginia, appears in a photo taken on June 26, 2015. Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Ten years ago today, the earthen wall of a coal ash impoundment in Kingston, Tennessee, ruptured, sending 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry rushing across the countryside, destroying homes and chocking streams and wetlands with the toxic leftovers from … [more…]

Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels

photo: solar power cells installed, replacing fossil fuels energy sources

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted a little-discussed benefit of using renewables like wind and solar to produce electricity: Unlike most power sources, they require “almost no water.”

This is remarkable because thermoelectric power generation is the leading use of water in America. (That said, only three percent of power generation’s 133 billion gallons a day of water is considered “consumptive use,” as the U.S. Geological Survey says, “meaning … [more…]

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…]

Leading Water Utilities Reducing Water-Energy Nexus Pressures

Leading Water Utilities Reducing Water-Energy Nexus Pressures

Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. At the same time, electricity is needed to provide drinking water and treat wastewater. Recognizing rising water-energy nexus pressures, a range of water utilities around the world are developing innovative solutions to reduce these pressures.

Melbourne Water’s hydro-electric power stations

Melbourne Water has hydro-electric power stations operating throughout its supply network, generating renewable energy from the flow and pressure of … [more…]