GLRPPR Sector Resource: Technology Assessment: Water in the energy sector: Reducing freshwater use in hydraulic fracturing and thermoelectric power plant cooling
Technology Assessment: Water in the energy sector: Reducing freshwater use in hydraulic fracturing and thermoelectric power plant cooling
Many regions within the United States experience moderate to exceptional drought forcing state officials to make difficult choices regarding energy and water. Competition for freshwater continues to increase due to industrial, municipal, and especially agricultural and energy sector demand. The thermoelectric power industry, for example, accounted for 38 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States in 2010.
GAO has issued a series of six reports on the interdependencies between energy and water. In this report, GAO assessed advanced and emerging technologies that can reduce water use in hydraulic fracturing and thermoelectric power plant cooling. GAO also examined the impact of regional differences in thermoelectric power generation on water use in water-stressed versus unstressed areas of the United States.
To perform this technology assessment, GAO reviewed relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature and government reports and consulted experts with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. Experts convened with the assistance of the National Academy of Sciences advised GAO, and reviewed a draft of this report. GAO incorporated their comments in the final report as appropriate.
Government Accountability Office
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