Americans worry about water use in energy production, survey says

Many Americans are concerned about the amount of water being used in energy production as much of the country continues to struggle with drought, according to a new survey.

About 81 percent of Americans surveyed are concerned about "increased drought, wildfires and other in the United States," according to survey results released by the Civil Society Institute, a nonprofit think tank that aims to serve as a "catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society."

The survey focused on Americans' perception of the connection between clean water and energy in view of the drought and found that shortages of safe drinking water due to drought and "the diversion of water for " is the top concern in the 10 drought-stricken states the survey focused on.

The of more than 2,500 adults across the country, showed that three out of four Americans think that "with all the current concern about severe drought and the risk of , America needs to start focusing more on , such as wind and solar, that require less water."

"A strong majority of Americans want to see a shift toward cleaner energy," Pam Solo, president of the Civil Society Institute, said in a teleconference about the survey results Thursday.

According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Science School, thermoelectric-power withdrawals accounted for 49 percent of total water use in the U.S.

Solo said the survey shows that the drought has Americans focusing more than ever on .

"This summer was a real game-changer," Solo said.


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Aug 28, 2012
It would be nice if there were some way to capture the excess heat and turn it into more electric energy. Reduce/eliminate vaporization.

Aug 28, 2012
It would be nice if there were some way to capture the excess heat and turn it into more electric energy.

Carnot cycle says: no.
But the cooling towers are already an attempt to reclaim as much as possible.

But you can use the heated steam to heat homes within a reasonable radius or provide heat to nearby industrial processes.


Aug 28, 2012
I strongly suspect that this 'survey' asked leading questions to obtain the reported results, invalidating the work entirely. It seems unreasonable to expect that "the diversion of water for energy production" is high on the list of worries, even for drought-stricken states, when so much energy production is performed with little or no requirement for "diversion of water."

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