Power Plants and the Freshwater Crisis

TUE, JUN 25, 2013 (57:25)

Freshwater is a critical resource and the supply is rapidly dwindling in an era of climate change. The demand for water far exceeds the rate of natural replenishment, leaving a seriously depleted water table and increased conflict over water rights in many regions. The bulk of our freshwater use is for cooling in power plants and irrigation in large-scale agriculture. In this discussion, John Rogers focuses especially on the problem of power plants. In the United States, 90 percent of electricity comes from conventional thermoelectric power plants’ coal, nuclear, natural gas, and oil, and such technologies depend on freshwater cooling. Much of that freshwater is wasted. In a time of critical loss of freshwater, the deployment of alternative energy systems cannot be postponed.

+ BIO: John Rogers

John Rogers used to managed the Northeast Clean Energy Project, working to implement a range of clean energy and climate policies. He worked primarily on renewable electricity standards and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative and of RENEW, an organization that promotes renewable energy in New England. He also serves on the advisory boards of several nonprofit organizations promoting U.S. renewable energy and global energy access. Rogers joined UCS in 2006 after working for 15 years on private and public clean energy initiatives, including as a co-founder of Soluz, Inc., a leading developer of clean energy solutions for rural markets, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. He earned a B.A. at Princeton University and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Rogers has been cited by the Associated Press, Business Wire, Boston Globe, Des Moines Register, and St. Petersburg Times, as well as by NPR and Boston’s local PBS and NBC television affiliates.

+ BIO: Yvonne Stapp

Yvonne Stapp runs Science for the Public, a grassroots organization whose mission is to improve public understanding of science. Science is essential to the vitality of modern culture, and science depends on public commitment to the scientific community

Science for the Public
Living With Water