Experts are now researching the use of fresh water in producing conventional forms of energy, including electricity and natural gas. The research which is being conducted by Virginia Tech professor, Tamim Younos and undergraduate student, Rachelle HIll, analyzes 11 types of energy sources and five power generating methods. The studies findinges are based on current reports from the govrnment and are presented in gallons of water per BTU. The researcher chose these units because it represents pure energy. The studies findings were quite surprising to me, one of the most appaling numbers was the amount of water needed to burn a 60-watt incandescent light bulb for 12 hours a day for a year.....GUESS???....between 3,000 and 6,000 gallons of water. The big disparity in the numbers is due to the various efficiencies of the power plant supplying the energy. The study concludes that the two most water efficient energy resources are natural gas and synthetic fuels produced by coal gasification, and the least being fuel ethanol and biodiesel. The winner in the power generation competition was geothermal and hydroelectric energy, while nuclear plants use the most water.
For more on the study and to see the list of energy sources and power generating methods compared, please see the link below: