Power plants continue to suck US dry

New data from the US Geological Survey underline the need for fresh action on the water-energy nexus. The volumes of water withdrawn for cooling thermoelectric power plants remain stubbornly high.

New figures published at the end of October show that total water withdrawals in the US declined by 1% from 2000 to 2005 to reach 410 billion gallons per day (approximately 1.5 km3/d).

The data, compiled by the US Geological Survey (USGS), reveals that while the volume withdrawn for irrigation declined by 8% – partly due to more efficient sprinkler systems in the Southwest – the...

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