Water Management R&D

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The Water Management R&D program encompasses the need to minimize any potential impacts of power plant operations on water quality and availability. Efficiency improvements will reduce the amount of water required for fossil energy operations. New water treatment technologies that economically derive clean water from alternative sources will allow greater recycling of water within energy extraction and conversion as well as carbon storage processes, thus reducing total water demand. Data modeling and analysis is being employed to examine existing water availability data on a regional basis.

The mission of the program is to lead a critical national effort directed at removing barriers to sustainable, efficient, water and energy use; developing technology solutions; and enhancing the understanding of the intimate relationship between energy and water resources. Water is a fixed resource with competing demands and increase uncertainty. Thermoelectric power generation accounts for over 40% of freshwater withdrawals and over three percent of freshwater consumption in the U.S. The water crosscutting program is focused on addressing these competing needs and challenges. Energy-water systems are dynamically complex, and models and analysis will be essential in informing and deciding priority technology R&D initiatives.