Burning Our Rivers - The Water Footprint of Electricity
River Network, a US-based organization dedicated to protecting and restoring rivers have released a report on the water footprint of electricity, explaining how power plants of all types (nuclear, coal and natural gas) draw from our vital water resources to produce electricity. The report investigates how power production puts tremendous stress on our watersheds, including the Great Lakes. The demand for “burning” freshwater sources from electricity production also leads to a range of pollution and water scarcity concerns, which could be assuaged by introducing more water-efficient ways of generating power. Although the findings of this report are situated within a US context, the “burning” of water sources is a global occurrence, and the content presented is valuable for grasping an understanding of this phenomena nonetheless. Water usage for energy generation is of particular concern to the Great Lakes region where for example, 70% of water drawn from Lake Erie is directed towards thermoelectric plants. For more information, read up on the report here.