The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy along with partners across the Southeast are working with the Union of Concerned Scientists through the Energy & Water in a Warming World Initiative (EW3) to highlight the energy water nexus.
In July 2013, the EW3 initiative, led by the Union of Concerned Scientists, released a dynamic new report, Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World, which is based on comprehensive new research about the water implications of electricity choices in the U.S. under a range of pathways, at a range of geographic scales. The EW3 research focused on the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) basins in particular.
The report aims to provide critical information to inform and shape decisions about power plants and electricity supply, such that those choices safeguard water resources, reduce power sector carbon emissions, and provide reliable electricity at a reasonable price, even in the context of a changing climate and other water resource pressures.
Water-Smart Power is the second report from the EW3 initiative. The first, released in late 2011, Freshwater Use by U.S. Power Plants: Electricity’s Thirst for a Precious Resource, drew upon new, highly relevant information and methodologies. It used a novel compilation of the water use characteristics of virtually every power generator in the country and new analytical approaches to conservatively estimate the water-supply impacts of power plant cooling and illustrate stress related to high water temperatures. With these tools, the EW3 Initiative characterized the water-stress impacts of power plant water use in the more than 2000 watersheds across the country for 2008.
- Celebrate World Water Day: Four Power Plant Cooling Trends Help Us Party More Responsibly
- Energy-Water Collisions: Landmark Resolution from the Nation’s Electricity Regulators
- The Alabama I Used to Know: Is the Southeast Getting Climate- and Water-Smarter?
- Water-Smart Power: Why Our Power Choices Matter in a Warming, Water-Constrained World
- New Study: Energy Choices Today Affect Water Availability Tomorrow
- Energy and Water Collisions: Drought Implications
- 2012 U.S. Drought and Heat Expose Electricity Supply Risks
- Union of Concerned Scientist’s Infographic Series
- Report Highlights Power Plant Stress on Freshwater Supplies in the Southeast
Media Coverage: The intriguing EW3 initiative has received significant media interest and coverage. To learn more about the impacts on water resources at the state level in the Southeast see the resources and articles below.
- July 16, 2013 press releases: Southeast, Georgia and Alabama
- WABE – Georgia Pubic Radio
- Public News Service (North Carolina)
- Orlando Sentinel
- WUOT (Tennessee)
- CBS 42 (Birmingham, Alabama)
- June 28, 2012 telepress event and related media: Scientific American, Facing South, Macon Telegraph, Charlotte Business Journal, Georgia Public Broadcasting, WBIR TV (Knoxville)
Webinars: SACE hosted a webinar on July 30, 2013 that discussed the findings of the new Water-Smart Power report. Click here to both listen to and view the presentation. Click here for our webinar archives, including the April 2012 webinar that discussed the first EW3 report’s findings.