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Water and Energy Nexus

Impact of Energy Development on Water Resources

Authored by: Hightower Michael

Sustainability in the Mineral and Energy Sectors

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498733021
eBook ISBN: 9781315369853
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781315369853-25

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Abstract

Water is an essential natural resource that impacts all aspects of life—clean and abundant supplies of water are vital for supporting food production; public health; industrial, mineral, and energy development; and a healthy environment. Water is an integral part of energy and mineral extraction, production, and generation. It is used directly in hydroelectric power generation and is used extensively for thermoelectric power plant cooling and associated air emissions control, for growing and refining biofuels, for oil and natural gas (NG) refining, and for energy resource transportation. Water is also used or generated in mineral and energy resource extraction, such as hydraulic fracturing, oil and NG produced water generation, coal and uranium mining and processing, and mineral mining operations, including processing, dust control, and mine dewatering. Energy development can also impact water quality in surface water and groundwater, including thermal impacts from thermoelectric power plant cooling water thermal discharges, degradation of water quality from oil and gas development produced water leaks and disposal issues, energy refining waste water and refining by-product water impacts, and mine water drainage contamination issues.

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