This was an interesting article on Energy v.s. Water consumption in the Southwest, the Colorado River, building renewable energy, farming, toxic waste and our unquenchable thirst.
At the edge of the Salton Sea, Mark Gran surveys the clanking, hissing labyrinth of pipes that curl up from the desert in the distance. In front of him, steam belches up from a geothermal plant’s cooling towers, forming perfect puffy clouds that hang against a flawless blue sky.
We got a lot of pots and pans,” he shouts over the noise. Gran is a vice president at CalEnergy Generation, a company that’s developing geothermal power in the Imperial Valley, in Southern California.
The 16 geothermal plants that dot the Imperial Valley—10 of which are owned by CalEnergy—are among the first signs of what California hopes will become a renewable-energy boom. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate that fully exploiting a fault line beneath the Salton Sea would supply an astonishing 2300 megawatts of power, rivaling the output of a big nuclear power plant.
“This could be a great area for a renewable-energy hub,” says Gran. “We just need water.”
Read the full story at ieee Spectrum