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 extreme weather events 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 energy production" is the top concern in the 10 drought-stricken states the survey focused on.
The phone survey 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 water shortages, America needs to start focusing more on alternative energy sources, 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 water usage.
"This summer was a real game-changer," Solo said.
(c)2012 Austin American-Statesman, Texas
Distributed by MCT Information Services