Argonne National Laboratory

Water Footprint

Blue water represents water withdrawn from surface water and groundwater for feedstock irrigation and refinery processing.

Blue water represents water withdrawn from surface water and groundwater for feedstock irrigation and refinery processing.

Fresh water is arguably the most valuable natural resource in the world. From an Energy/Fuel-Water nexus perspective, there is a dynamic relationship between energy security and water sustainability that crosses different economic sectors, spans wide geographic regions, and is affected by climate change because of the hydrologic cycle. An increase in energy/fuel production could strain the availability of water resources in certain regions if it is not appropriately managed. Water use could be significantly affected by competing demands from various sectors for power generation, food production, and urban development sectors. The impact could become more pronounced due to climate change, for which there has been evidence in recent years in the form of increased frequencies of extreme weather occurrences. In essence, water sustainability is energy sustainability. This project addresses water sustainability associated with the production of biofuel and petroleum oil and generation of electricity. It aims at developing analysis and analytical framework for water use accounting at county, state, and regional scale.