Power and Water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint: Understanding the Water Implications of Potential Electricity Pathways
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Electricity generation and water are strongly connected, with important implications. Water for cooling power plants accounts for over 40 percent of freshwater withdrawals in the United States, and for up to two-thirds in the U.S. Southeast (USGS 2009). Those water withdrawals, related water consumption (through evaporation), and associated water temperature increases can exacerbate stress on local water systems (Avery et al. 2011). Understanding the water implication of different options for meeting future electricity demand can be important for effective decision making and public policy. We present results from a new analytical platform for assessing future power sector water use under different electricity generation scenarios. The platform connects energy and water models to allow state-of –the –art analysis at geographic and time scales that are appropriate for both electricity and hydrology/water management.