Water scarcity is a problem of increasing concern for the state of Georgia. For the last three decades the state has experienced droughts that have reached extreme conditions on many occasions. Georgia released a comprehensive water plan in 2008 that outlined historical and projected water use for various sectors of the economy. Water use for energy generation has the largest by volume consumptive use of water in the state. The report outlined plans for future energy generating facilities in order to meet the projected demand increase for electricity due to population growth over the next 30 years. The planned technologies for these power plants relied mostly on conventional fossil fuel generators with tower cooling systems. From a water consumption standpoint these facilities are highly inefficient compared to currently available technologies. Though a quantitative analysis of the median water consumption rates of alternative fuel sources and cooling technologies and a qualitative analysis of the feasibility of these alternatives from a geographical perspective, it was determined that concentrated solar power and adoption of dry cooling technology for conventional combustion generators provided the greatest water savings (96-99% on average) relative to other generation technologies. It was also concluded that the choice in cooling technology had nearly as much impact on water consumption by a power plant as did the choice of a fuel source.


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