Opportunities for Robustness of Water Footprints in Electricity Generation

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Water resources are required for cooling of thermoelectric power plants and in the production of hydroelectricity. Scarcity of water resources impacts the ability to generate electricity in grids across the globe. There is extensive literature and research on the electricity-water nexus, spanning hydrology, policy, and energy sectors. Existing research often focuses on quantifying a static relationship and rarely accounts for expectations of annual, seasonal, and subseasonal water variability in nexus research. This omission leaves an important, unanswered question in the field: how can the water footprinting framework be operationalized in the electricity-water nexus with hydroclimatic forecasts? Building off the work by Chowdhury et al. (https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EF001814), we comment on the opportunities for climate-informed, seasonal, or subannual assessments of the electricity-water nexus to facilitate decision-making.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. CC BY-NC 4.0.

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Earth's Future