Energy-Water Nexus

Energy production  consumes a large volume of water. The USGS estimated that about 40 percent of the total USA fresh surface-water withdrawal in 2005 was for thermoelectric consumption, mainly for cooling coal plants. While many studies have looked at  water quantity as a limiting factor, the research in our group highlights the critical impacts of energy production on water quality. In particular, we investigate water contamination and impacts on the environment derived from energy resources extraction (coal and mountaintop mining, unconventional shale gas extraction and hydrofracturing) and coal utilization (coal combustion products).


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