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Modeling Water Withdrawal and Consumption for Electricity Generation in the United States

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dc.contributor.author Strzepek, Kenneth M.
dc.contributor.author Baker, Jonathan
dc.contributor.author Farmer, William
dc.contributor.author Schlosser, C. Adam
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-18T17:22:43Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-18T17:22:43Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/71168
dc.description http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/publications en_US
dc.description.abstract Water withdrawals for thermoelectric cooling account for a significant portion of total water use in the United States. Any change in electrical energy generation policy and technologies has the potential to have a major impact on the management of local and regional water resources. In this report, a model of Withdrawal and Consumption for Thermo-electric Systems (WiCTS) is formalized. This empirically-based framework employs specific water-use rates that are scaled according to energy production, and thus, WiTCS is able to estimate regional water withdrawals and consumption for any electricity generation portfolio. These terms are calculated based on water withdrawal and consumption data taken from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) inventories and a recent NREL report. To illustrate the model capabilities, we assess the impact of a high-penetration of renewable electricity-generation technologies on water withdrawals and consumption in the United States. These energy portfolio scenarios are taken from the Renewable Energy Futures (REF) calculations performed by The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Results of the model indicate that significant reductions in water use are achieved under the renewable technology portfolio. Further experiments illustrate additional capabilities of the model. We investigate the impacts of assuming geothermal and concentrated solar power technologies employing wet cooling systems versus dry as well as assuming all wet cooling technologies use closed cycle cooling technologies. Results indicate that water consumption and withdrawals increase under the first assumption, and that water consumption increases under the second assumption while water withdrawals decrease. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from and collaborative efforts with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The authors would also like to thank Joan Kenny and Molly Maupin from the United States Geological Survey for their help in clarifying some questions we had surrounding the data in the recent USGS water use report. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change through a consortium of industrial sponsors and Federal grants. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Joint Program Report Series;222
dc.rights An error occurred on the license name. en
dc.rights.uri An error occurred getting the license - uri. en
dc.title Modeling Water Withdrawal and Consumption for Electricity Generation in the United States en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US
dc.identifier.citation JP Report 222 en_US


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