Energy production is dependent upon water: it uses huge quantities to extract and
process fuel sources, like coal and natural gas, and to generate electricity at
hydro power plants.
Thermoelectric power generation alone accounts for almost 50 percent of water withdrawals in the United States—over 200 billion gallons per day—and coal mining and natural gas processing together use over 500 million gallons per day.
Water use in energy production also affects water quality (e.g., high-temperature water discharge from thermal power plants and wastewater created by coal and natural gas extraction and processing). Because of these high-volume, high-impact water uses, nearly all stages of energy production are regulated to protect source water quality and supply.
This conference will examine several issues affecting the use of water in energy production, from fuel source extraction to electricity generation. Panelists will discuss the impacts of recently proposed and finalized regulatory changes, including EPA’s proposed definition of the “Waters of the United States” and its October 2014 cooling water intake rule.
Panelists will also examine how climate change is expected to affect water supply and its impact on energy industries, and how developers and environmental regulators are addressing issues in managing water use in shale gas development.
The keynote speakers are: