The United States is feeling the threat of a rise in water demand.
According to a recent survey conducted by Black & Veatch of over 700 utility industry officials, the number one concern is water supply.
Water has been growing in demand in the U.S. – just as it has worldwide – considering nearly every form of energy production requires it for activity.
Water is absolutely necessary in the process of cooling nuclear reactors – without this, nuclear energy would not even be possible.
And the growing demand in the U.S. for natural gas from shale, especially in regards to the Marcellus Shale, has bumped up water demand even more.
Water is the main component in the process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, which combines gallons of water with sand and chemicals used to break apart shale deposits to release natural gas.
And with the fracking process comes the threat of contamination to clean water supplies, making the concern over freshwater even more pressing.
The second-largest concern of utility executives, according to the survey, is nuclear fuel and it’s storage and disposal.
The concern over nuclear energy has doubled from last year to a high concern with 70% of officials.
This should come as no surprise after the recent Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Carbon emissions were also listed among the industry concerns, but they fell behind water and nuclear.
Another worry included advancements in nuclear and renewable technologies – other countries are beginning to surpass the U.S. in this, especially China and some European countries.
Industry officials expressed a desire to expand our use of these technologies.
The survey also took a look at available energy sources and how they ranked according to what the utility industry wants to focus more on.
Natural gas ranked number one out of all of these. Also in the top five were nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, and wind power, respectively.
Surveyed officials did not, however, totally discount coal from this, and expressed belief that coal will still remain an energy source in the future of the U.S.
But as carbon emissions were up on the list of concerns, perhaps this indicates an overall desire in the industry to shift to cleaner energy sources.
That’s all for now,