Editor, The Ada News:
To secure the future of our freshwater supply, decisions about how we produce energy must take into account water usage.
Many of today’s power plants are putting stress on our freshwater resources and are therefore making our energy system less reliable.
Power plants around the country withdraw vast amounts of water from local sources for cooling (60-170 billon gallons per day, 40 percent of all freshwater use). Much of this is returned, albeit at higher temperatures (hundreds of plants have reported discharging water into rivers and lakes at dangerously hot temperatures).
Shifting to low-water energy sources, like wind turbines and photovoltaic solar panels, can help us cope with current droughts and hot weather-like those being experienced in Texas, where extreme
measures have been required to supply water to some power plants to eep them running.
Low-water electricity can reduce the risk that power plants will have to cut production because of high water temperature or low water quantity. Low-water electricity can reduce competition for water with local residents, businesses, and agriculture in the long-term. And this can help preserve our fish and wildlife and the quality of the riversand lakes we love.