Energy and Water in the California Desert

Osha Gray Davidson, writing about yesterday’s Blythe Solar Power Project announcement, highlights a key issue:

[T]he project will now have a much smaller “water footprint” thanks to a decision to use air cooling, which consumes no water, at the cost of somewhat reduced efficiency.

Cynthia Barnett, a noted water expert and author, calls the Blythe plant “crucial.”

“It shows that the U.S. recognizes the link between water and energy,” she says. “Every form of energy is water intensive — not just solar. But Blythe is a good sign for the future. It shows we can generate renewable energy without over-using water.”


  1. This stuff is really interesting to our company. We work in reusing and recycling wastewater, and the desert is such an important area in our process. Instead of draining the water table we can reuse water–give it a longer lifecycle!

  2. Pingback: This Is Huge « Follow the Energy

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