New Episode of Resources Radio: “Understanding Water Use in the US Energy System, with Emily Grubert”


Dec. 17, 2019

News Type

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) today released a new installment of Resources Radio: “Understanding Water Use in the US Energy System, with Emily Grubert.”

In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Emily Grubert, an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an expert on what’s known as the “energy-water nexus.” They discuss a 2018 paper that Grubert coauthored with Kelly Sanders, which provides in-depth research on the life cycle of water consumption for every major fuel source in the United States. Raimi and Grubert compare and contrast the different water profiles of coal, oil, gas, biofuels, and other sources of energy. They also discuss the implications of water use in hydraulic fracturing and other increasingly prominent energy production processes.

Listen here.

Notable quotes from the podcast:

  • “We don't necessarily have a great sense of where our water consumption is interacting with scarcity, and I don't think we've necessarily thought hard enough about what climate change means for that availability in the future.”―Emily Grubert (26:48)
  • “I think, from a policy perspective, even beyond just talking about water, making sure that we're thinking a little bit about what the key various outcomes of a given policy might be, and making sure that we're accounting for those upstream, is pretty important.”―Emily Grubert (20:56)
  • “With the hydraulic fracturing boom, it was a new use in newly industrialized places that maybe weren't set up for it in quite the same ways [as coal-producing regions]. So, local impacts can be high, but the total number of gallons is pretty low.”―Emily Grubert (15:14)

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast series exploring timely environmental, energy, and natural resources topics. Episodes can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.

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