Solar… saves water too! One thing often overlooked in the debate about electric, is electric plants actually use a huge amount of water for cooling… as we experience more and more scarcity of water… Solar can help minimize water waste. @solarips #SolarEnergy #Solar #water
— Mark Cathcart (@cathcam) May 17, 2018
I’ve been going through a set of older notebooks to look up some project design detail, and came across a set of research notes, from 2002, for this slide deck.
Back in 2002, researchers were already warning of the shortage of water, and the possibility that there would be ‘water wars’. This 2016 National Geographic article is a good starter, if you don’t think water wars are a thing.
One of the more well know American “water wars” , are the Tri-State water wars going on between Atlanta, Georgia, and Florida. Lake Laneir, created some 50-years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers when they created the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. It along with Lake Allatoona were created primarily for hydropower. Both lakes feed major river basins that flow from Georgia through to Alabama and Florida. As Atlanta grows, with much higher water needs, the dispute over whose water it is, started
(Clean) Water is becoming a scarce commodity. With the administrations change of how we classify “Clean Water“, the need to conserve water has never been greater. Forget the climate impact and other negative impacts of coal and nuclear power, they are both “water monster” fuels.
The nations thermoeletric power stations use 4x as much water as all US Residencies, and about the same as farms. Nuclear power plants intake water flow rates can range from 13,500 to 52,000 gallons per minute.
Uranium fuel extraction, requires 45-150 gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electricity produced and uranium mining has contaminated surface or ground water sources in at least 14 states (1).
Choices made now about power sources will be reverberating for decades. Many Americans are still choosing solar, despite the increased cost following the addition of tariffs, Solar installations in the US are remaining stable, year over year.
If you’ve been thinking about installing a residential solar system, this is another great reason to do it, albeit one that doesn’t have a direct financial benefit. Maybe you will end up selling water by the river?