Southface and the Southern Environmental Law Center are pleased to present “The Water-Energy Nexus in Georgia: A Detailed Examination of Consumptive Water Use in the Power Sector.” Our goals in commissioning this analysis were to clarify the scale and nature of water use by the electric power sector in Georgia and to enrich the ongoing discussions about energy and water regulation and policy in Georgia and the Southeast.
While the study looks both backward and forward in time, the real value of the study is the forward-looking modeling that evaluates the likely future water consumption of the power sector in Georgia and how this “business as usual” water consumption could change depending on different alternative energy pathways possible in the future. In particular, we sought to understand how the use of freshwater resources by the power sector would change if Georgia were to pursue greater deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Given Georgia’s continued focus on water resource planning and the pressure imposed on long-term water resource planning by ongoing interstate litigation, we felt it was important to highlight this compelling co-benefit of alternative energy pathways involving clean energy.
We hope this research will be useful and timely to those involved in steering the resource choices of Georgia’s electric utilities and those engaged in the effort to protect and enhance Georgia’s water resources and quality of life.
We want to thank the Cadmus and CNA teams for their excellent analytic work.