Water and Energy – Emerging Issues and Challenges | AIChE

Water and Energy – Emerging Issues and Challenges


Hightower, M. - Presenter, Sandia National Laboratories

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 due to changing precipitation patterns, increased ecological and environmental demands for water, and issues over sustainable groundwater withdrawal rate, water consumption demands by the energy sector could triple over the next two decades. This emerging competition for water from the energy sector could significantly change how fresh and nontraditional surface and groundwater water resources are developed and utilized.

This presentation will provide an overview of current and emerging national and regional water availability issues and emerging trends in fresh and non-traditional surface and ground water use and reuse. The presentation will also discuss some of the emerging energy related issues that are expected to drive future water development and sustainable resource utilization.