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Our country’s energy infrastructure, especially in the Southeast, is extremely water intensive. Water is a current and future constraint for existing and proposed new power plants in many areas of the region. Growing populations and expanding industries mean water is increasingly less available for use in energy production. Coal and nuclear power plants, in particular, are highly water intensive energy choices that not only require large volumes of water but also pollute our lakes, rivers, and streams. As changes to the climate continue and competition for water increases, these precious water resources are likely to be at even greater risk. Making the right energy choices today will protect our limited water resources for generations to come.

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Coal Ash in the Southeast

If clean water is important to you and your family, you need to know about a silent danger to our waterways and public health. Coal ash, the waste left over after coal is burned to generate power, contains concentrated amounts of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, and selenium, which are hazardous to human health and to wildlife. Despite this danger, coal…

Energy & Water In a Warming World Report

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…

Water & Energy at a Crossroads

During the summer of 2007, the Southeast experienced one of its worst droughts in over a century, aggravating state water wars and prompting crisis actions to conserve limited supplies. For many parts of our region, severe droughts have continued to occur, revealing a vulnerable and unreliable electricity system. Existing power plants in the region, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant…

Solutions to Water Woes

The good news is that solutions do exist to tackle global warming while also protecting our region’s water resources. Two solutions that are readily at hand include promoting energy efficiency measures and wide-spread deployment of renewable energy resources. Energy Efficiency & Conservation: According to a study by the state of Georgia, reducing electricity use through energy efficiency measures has the immediate impact of reducing…

Power Plants and Water

Traditional power plants must have significant water resources continuously and readily available to create and condense steam to power their turbines. Water use or withdrawal refers to the amount of water that is withdrawn from the water body by the power plant. Water consumption refers to the amount of water that the power plant withdraws that is not returned to the water supply source,…

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S.C. Sea Level Film Debut

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has developed a new sea levelrise awareness video on behalf of the Southeast Coastal ClimateNetwork. Video production and event planning have been achieved in partnershipwith the Coastal Conservation League, Carolina Climate Network, SouthCarolina Wildlife Federation and Architecture 2030. “Rising Seas: Challenges and Opportunities for the Lowcountry” showsnever-before-seen imagery. This documentary shows the vulnerability ofCharleston, Mount Pleasant, and neighboring…

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Telepresser: EW3 New Report, Smart-Water Power

This news conference on July 16, 2013, discussed the new report, Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World, produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists-led Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative (EW3). The report found the choices the industry makes now will decide how much it will tax the nation’s threatened water supplies and drive climate change through…