Water demands for energy production expected to grow

Water for Energy

The amount of fresh water used for energy production worldwide is expected to double within the next 25 years, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency. Coal-fired electricity as well as biofuel production will likely be the primary sources of water consumption, the IEA said.

National Geographic said, according to IEA estimates, the amount of water consumed for energy production will increase from today's 66 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 135 bcm annually by 2035.

"That's an amount equal to the residential water use of every person in the United States over three years, or 90 days' discharge of the Mississippi River," the article stated. "It would be four times the volume of the largest U.S. reservoir, Hoover Dam's Lake Mead."

Coal-fired power plants are expected to use about half that amount of water, and biofuel would use about 30 percent, the article stated. Natural gas and oil exploration would account for about 10 percent of the water demand in 2035.

Earlier this month at the World Future Energy Summit at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, others were warning about the growing water and energy demands of the future.

“We are at a critical stage, and this requires collective efforts to meet the challenges facing energy and water resources,” said Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

PennEnergy research area offers details on biofuels.

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