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Articles by Amy Hardberger

Amy Hardberger is an attorney with Environmental Defense Fund.

Featured Article

Photo: rutloOur nation is in the midst of some serious energy and water problems, but what many may not realize is that these two issues are very closely linked (see the recent Wall Street Journal article on this topic). The truth is that energy and water are related in just about every way you can imagine and in ways that affect our lives everyday — down to the lights and water in our homes that we too often take for granted. The water supply sector utilizes large amounts of energy to transport, treat, and deliver water. On the flip side, vast quantities of water are required to generate power.

First let’s start with how much water is used for energy. The United States thermoelectric industry uses 3.3 billion gallons of water every year [PDF]. That is 20 percent of all the water consumed in the country for non-agricultural uses. This number is currently predicted to grow to 7.3 billion gallons by the year 2030. Water is used in all stages in the creation of energy — to extract, process, refine, and transport the fuels to power-generation sources. The power plant itself also uses vast amounts of water [PDF], particularly for the towers that cool the ... Read more