Future Cars: Saving Gas, Wasting Water?

March 24, 2008 at 11:51 pm Leave a comment

I was just listening to the Mar 21 broadcast of Science Friday on global water needs. (Did you know that March 22 was “World Water Day”?) It turns out that the two largest water users in the U.S. are agriculture and electric power generation. The power plants, whether coal-fired, nuclear-powered, or natural gas-based, use water for cooling. So … if you consume more electricity, you use more water, and water is a scarce resource.

Is it likely, though, that electricity consumption, which has been steadily expanding, will suddenly skyrocket? It might, at least according to one scenario. If millions of people switch from gasoline-powered cars to plug-in hybrids over the next few decades, electricity consumption will surge. At least that’s the prediction of Carey King, UT-Austin. To read more about the predictions of King et al. check out ScienceNOW (10 Mar 2008).

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Entry filed under: In the News.

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