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…]

Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

photo: Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem.

Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than … [more…]

New Tests Reveal 15 out of 15 of Indiana’s Coal Ash Ponds Are Leaking

photo: glass of drinking water. New Tests Reveal 15 out of 15 of Indiana’s Coal Ash Ponds Are Leaking

Photo: Barbara Deardorff draws water from her tap in Wheatfield, Indiana. Dangerous chemicals from a nearby coal ash pond have leached into the local groundwater.

As new research reveals widespread contamination, pro-coal industries are pushing to weaken federal rules on coal ash and give regulatory authority back to states like Indiana, which has a dismal record on regulating this toxic waste.

As a writer for Earthjustice, I often tell stories … [more…]