Groundwater and Energy: Emerging Challenges, Directions and Opportunities
Sandia National Lab
Water and energy are interdependent. Water is used extensively in energy development as cooling water in thermoelectric power generation, in oil and alternative transportation fuels refining and in biofuels production. At the same time, water and waste water pumping, treatment, and distribution is one of the largest energy use sectors in the country. At a time when fresh water availability is becoming limited in many regions from changing precipitation patterns, increased ecological and environmental water demands, and concerns over sustainable groundwater withdrawal, water demands by the energy sector could triple over the next two decades. Emerging competition for water from the energy sector could significantly impact and change how surface and groundwater resources are developed and utilized. This presentation will provide an overview of emerging trends in how the energy and groundwater development sectors are becoming even more closely linked due to new energy development trends and water needs. The presentation will also discuss some of the emerging energy and biofuels related issues that are expected to drive future groundwater development and utilization.