If droughts, heat waves, and power plant troubles aren’t strong enough signals that power plant water use is something worth paying attention to, maybe this week’s approval of an energy-water resolution by NARUC, the national association of utility regulators, can help. Understanding the importance of actions like NARUC’s (and Mother Nature’s) depends on understanding how much water U.S. power plants use, and why. It’s a good time to take stock of what we know about that issue. Read More
November 22nd, 2013
November 20th, 2013
NARUC may not be a household name, but it, as the national body of state public utility commissioners (PUCs), deals with a whole lot of important issues for consumers in every state. And today its members weighed in on the important issue of power plant water use, following up on what UCS, Mother Nature, and others have been saying about water-related risks for the power sector, and how to deal with them.
October 8th, 2013
The Brayton Point coal plant is shutting down, and that’s a really positive development for a whole lot of reasons.
The new owners of the Somerset, MA, plant let it be known this week that they’d be shutting down Brayton Point by 2017. For the many community members and organizations that have worked for this goal for years, it’s a cause for celebration. But it’s also a great thing for the public at large. Read More
October 2nd, 2013
While a lot of folks are rightly focused on the House-Senate budget collision in D.C. right now, I’ve been thinking (as is my wont) about collisions of a different sort: between power plants and the rivers and lakes they depend on. Read More
August 29th, 2013
A new study about declining aquifers in the Great Plains focuses on the agricultural sector’s water use, as it should. But water-smart power choices can help, too, by cutting electric-sector pressure on precious groundwater resources. Read More
August 8th, 2013
A trip I just made to the Southeast included my first visit to Birmingham in decades, and glimpses of changes the intervening years had brought. New houses in my grandmother’s old neighborhood. Food that’s just as tasty as it used to be, but a whole lot more varied. And an energy scene that is changing, but not nearly as much as it should.
Our tour through Georgia and Alabama was aimed at talking with a range of audiences and experts about our new Water-Smart Power report. And when it comes to water-smart, there are plenty of reasons for the region to get on a different path, and lots of other reasons to celebrate where they’re headed. Read More
July 16th, 2013
In a future of growing climate change impacts and water strains, the water implications of our electricity choices are way worth paying attention to. A new report from the UCS-organized Energy and Water in a Warming World initiative (EW3) tells it like it is. Or like it will be. Or, actually, like it could be. Where we really head, it turns out, is all up to us. Read More
April 22nd, 2013
In the fine tradition of mashups that have produced zombie-enhanced classic novels and cutting-edge high school music efforts, a new UCS mini-report is a stimulating amalgamation of two exciting areas of UCS research, pointing to additional bonuses from closing old coal plants. This Earth Day, you can celebrate water savings, too. Read More
March 22nd, 2013
If you’re all done with your vernal equinox celebrations and looking for another excuse to party, you’re in luck. It may not show up on your run-of-the-mill cute-puppy-dog calendar, but it turns out that today is World Water Day. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate it, you could do worse than finding some way to save energy. Read More
January 9th, 2013
Events of the last few days say a lot about our politics, our planet, and our prospects. When it comes to thinking about our energy-water future, three events in particular stand out: NOAA’s news about 2012 temperatures, Georgia Power’s announcement about power plant retirements, and the renewable energy pieces of Washington’s recent fiscal deal. Read More