Volume 90 Issue 43 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 22, 2012

GAO Underscores Energy, Water Link

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: energy, water, GAO, DOE

The nexus between water and energy should be stressed by federal agencies and Congress when they develop or implement policies and regulations, says a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Energy and water are inextricably linked and mutually dependent, the report says, each affecting the other’s availability and use. The report highlights water used to cool thermoelectric power plants, to grow feedstocks and produce biofuels, and to extract oil and natural gas from beneath Earth’s surface. Energy-related activities can also negatively affect water quality and have created wastewater problems, the report says. It recommends better coordination among the various “stovepipes” within federal agencies where decisions about one resource are made without consideration of the effect on the other. The report also notes that Congress had directed the Department of Energy to establish a program to coordinate energy and water activities, but DOE has not done so.

 
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