Full Title: Freshwater Use by U.S. Power Plants: Electricity’s Thirst for a Precious Resource
Author(s): Kristen Averyt, Jeremy Fisher, Annette Huber-Lee, Aurana Lewis, Jordan Macknick ,Nadia Madden, John Rogers, and Stacy Tellinghuisen
Publisher(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publication Date: 11/2011
Length: 62 pages, PDF
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Take the average amount of water flowing over Niagara Falls in a minute. Now triple it. That’s almost how much water power plants in the United States take in for cooling each minute, on average.
In 2005, the nation’s thermoelectric power plants—which boil water to create steam, which in turn drives turbines to produce electricity—withdrew as much water as farms did, and more than four times as much as all U.S. residences.