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Energy/Water Issues

By the Numbers

  • 40,000: Number of pamphlets to educate residential/commercial customers about the connections between saving water and saving energy
  • 6.3 billion gallons: Volume of water saved annually by clean energy policies in the Mountain West
  • 3: Number of western states that now require electric utilities to consider water in their long-term resource plans.

Hoover Dam

Dramatic population growth in the West highlights the unmistakable link between energy generation and water use.  New coal plants divert and consume significant volumes of water for cooling.  By comparison, wind and solar arrays use virtually no water.  Thus, our choices for energy generation may create a large water footprint, as well as a large carbon footprint, preventing water from being put to other uses, including meeting environmental needs. WRA works to examine how different energy development scenarios affect water resources at the river basin- and state-wide level.