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Water withdrawal and consumption estimates for thermoelectric power plants in the United States, 2015 (ver. 1.1, February 2021)

February 4, 2021

This dataset presents water withdrawal estimates, consumption estimates, and associated information for 1,122 water-using, utility scale thermoelectric power plants in the United States for 2015. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed models to estimate thermoelectric water use based on linked heat-and-water budgets, including thermodynamically plausible ranges of minimum and maximum withdrawal and consumption, to provide a consistent method for water-use estimation across the fleet of U.S. thermoelectric plants. Historically, thermoelectric water withdrawal and consumption has been estimated by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) based on surveys of plant operator-reported data and the USGS's 5-year water-use reports based on compiling data from State water agencies, plant operators, and the EIA. The USGS models provide independent estimates from plant operator-reported data. The total estimated withdrawal for 2015 was about 103 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), and total estimated consumption was about 2.7 Bgal/d. Estimates presented in this dataset are rounded to three significant digits. This data release supports the findings published in Harris and Diehl (2019).

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