Freshwater use by U.S power plants: Electricity’s thirst for a precious resource

Across the world the water demand from coal power plants is combining with pressure from growing populations and other needs and straining water resources, especially during heat waves and droughts. This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists is the first systematic assessment of both the effects of power plant cooling on water resources across the United States and the quality of information available to help public and private sector decision makers make water smart energy choices.

Overheating: Financial Risks from water constraints on Power Generation in Asia

This report from HSBC Climate Change and World Resources Institute finds that emerging Asia is projected to have the fastest growth rate of power consumption in the world yet the availability and quality of freshwater is rapidly declining in many parts of South and Southeast Asia due to demographic pressures and climate change. Furthermore over half of existing and planned capacity for major power companies is located in areas that are considered to be water scarce or stressed.

Waste Deep: filling mines with coal ash is profit for industry but poison for people

This report from EarthJustice argues for federal regulations on coal combustion waste disposal, in particular safeguards that ensure companies reveal the toxicity of the waste they are dumping, identify sources of ground and surface water that are susceptible to contamination from the dumping and prohibit the dumping of waste directly into ground water. Federal regulations must also require long-term, comprehensive monitoring for pollution from the dumping and ensure that mine owners are financially responsible for the clean up.