Can Scientists Help Crack California’s Drought Conditions? For Industry’s Sake, Let’s Hope So

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

We are a thirsty nation. We consume nearly 1,500 gallons of water each day, with three-quarters of it going to supply industry and to create energy, as well as for food and fiber to feed the masses. The rest goes to homes and businesses.

These practices are unsustainable in the long term, but in water-short California they’re already coming to a head. After several years of drought with little relief, the state and its electricity providers want to make sure there is enough water to keep industry humming, and to serve the agricultural industry. Possible?

Well, it has to be. But the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working on a solution that tries to understand the balance between energy and water. With the twin challenges of population growth and climate change adding to the resource pressures, Berkeley Lab’s Water Resilience Initiative aims to use science and technology to optimize coupled water-energy systems and guide investments in such systems.

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