Treading Water How States Can Minimize the Impact of Power Plants on Aquatic Life

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The power industry uses more water than any other sector of the US economy. Nearly all of this water is used for once-through cooling, an outdated process that uses enormous volumes of water and discharges it back into the environment at elevated temperatures. The cooling systems kill and injure much of the aquatic life near the intake pipe and the heated discharge water alters surrounding ecosystems. This report, released by GRACE Communications Foundation in partnership with a coalition of regional and national environmental groups, underscores the need for states to ramp up their protections for the water and aquatic life that existing electric generating power plants withdraw from and discharge into lakes, rivers, harbors and estuaries.

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