Monthly archive for August 2010

Coal Mining & Energy Production Harm Water Quality

Water is an issue we should talk about a lot more than we do. (Full article below, but here are some highlights)  There is an ancient African Proverb: Filthy water cannot be washed 1) The U.S. withdraws 410 billion gallons of water a day from its rivers, lakes and freshwater aquifers. About half is used to cool thermoelectric power plants, and most of that cools coal-powered plants, according to the most recent assessment by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Similarly, the U.S. consumes about 100 billion gallons of water a day; nearly 85 percent is used for crop and livestock production. Of the 16.1 billion gallons that remain: industrial, mining and power plants use nearly 8 billion gallons a day, most of that for mining, processing and burning coal, according to the Department of Energy. 2)CCS will increase water withdrawal and use by 25 percent to 40 percent. In other words, without significant advances in a technology that is only now being tested in a handful of applications, the path to a low-carbon economy that still burns coal will put enormous new pressure on America’s declining supply of fresh water. 3) The numbers—like a splash of cold water—are a

Read more