Friday, January 29, 2016

Duke University Releases New Study Addressing Water Consumption Trends in Pennsylvania

Recently, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy, in collaboration with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, published a study entitled “A Spatiotemporal Exploration of Water Consumption Changes Resulting from the Coal-to-Gas Transition in Pennsylvania.” The study examines water use trends in Pennsylvania associated with natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale formation.

The researchers looked into the effects of transitioning power generation from coal to gas on water consumption over the period from 2009 through 2012 and discovered that “during this period, water consumed by coal power decreased by 13% while natural gas increased by 67%, which still resulted in a net decrease of 6% total water consumed for electricity generation across the state.” The researchers also noted that the southwest and southeast sub-basins experienced most of the changes in water consumption due to hydraulic fracturing activities.

The researchers suggested that national and regional agencies should “examine water consumption of both fuel extraction and electricity generation at high spatial and temporal resolutions if decision makers are to understand the cumulative impacts of the coal-to-gas transition in the power sector.”

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow
01/29/2016

1 comment:

  1. The researchers also noted that the southwest and southeast sub-basins experienced most of the changes in water consumption due to hydraulic fracturing activities.
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