Full Title: Power and Water at Risk
Author(s): N/A
Publisher(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publication Date: 6/2011


Across the United states, our demand for electricity is colliding with our need for healthy and abundant
freshwater. Our electricity system’s dependence on water runs deep: water’s role in hydropower, and the risks to hydroelectric generation when water is unavailable, are clear, but large steam-generating power plants (particularly the fossil-fuel- and nuclear-powered plants that produce the lion’s share of our electricity)1 also rely—often very heavily—on water for cooling purposes. Water resources, however, are under increasing pressure and, in some instances, have been unable to meet power plant cooling needs. As our demand for electricity continues to rise, the water dependence of many power plants puts the electricity sector, water resources, and other water users at growing risk.