reference : The influence of future electricity mix alternatives on southwestern US water resources

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reftype Journal Article
Abstract A climate driven, water resource systems model of the southwestern US was used to explore the implications of growth, extended drought, and climate warming on the allocation of water among competing uses. The analysis focused on the water benefits from alternative thermoelectric generation mixes, but included other uses, namely irrigated agriculture, municipal indoor and outdoor use, and environmental and inter-state compact requirements. The model, referred to as WEAP-SW, was developed on the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) platform, and is scenario-based and forward projecting from 2008 to 2050. The scenario includes a southwest population that grows from about 55 million to more than 100 million, a prolonged dry period, and a long-term warming trend of 2 ° C by mid-century. In addition, the scenario assumes that water allocation under shortage conditions would prioritize thermoelectric, environmental, and inter-state compacts by shorting first irrigated agriculture, then municipal demands. We show that while thermoelectric cooling water consumption is relatively small compared with other uses, the physical realities and the legal and institutional structures of water use in the region mean that relatively small differences in regional water use across different electricity mix scenarios correspond with more substantial impacts on individual basins and water use sectors. At a region-wide level, these choices influence the buffer against further water stress afforded the region through its generous storage capacity in reservoirs.
Author Yates, D.; J. Meldrum; K. Averyt
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/045005
ISSN 1748-9326
Issue 4
Journal Environmental Research Letters
Pages 045005
Title The influence of future electricity mix alternatives on southwestern US water resources
Volume 8
Year 2013
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 23704
_uuid bab7cece-bfc8-4ba0-8e33-a722116c1f76