Wednesday, March 25

Water vs. Energy

I posted recently about the trade-off between some biofuels and water (see A Note on Biofuels and Alternative Biofuels). Well here is an article discussing the trade-off between water and energy in general. As the subtitle points out: "Water is needed to generate energy. Energy is needed to deliver water. Both resources are limiting the other - and both may be running short. Is there a way out?" Find out for yourself (from

Water and energy are the two most fundamental ingredients of modern civilization. Without water, people die. Without energy, we cannot grow food, run computers, or power homes, schools or offices. As the world’s population grows in number and affluence, the demands for both resources are increasing faster than ever.

Woefully underappreciated, however, is the reality that each of these precious commodities might soon cripple our use of the other. We consume massive quantities of water to generate energy, and we consume massive quantities of energy to deliver clean water. Many people are concerned about the perils of peak oil—running out of cheap oil. A few are voicing concerns about peak water. But almost no one is addressing the tension between the two: water restrictions are hampering solutions for generating more energy, and energy problems, particularly rising prices, are curtailing efforts to supply more clean water. Read more...

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