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An Energy Diet: Cut Back on Water, Pay More Attention to Fish

An Energy Diet: Cut Back on Water, Pay More Attention to Fish

The water-energy nexus is the subject of huge debate and research: How can the United States meet future energy demands while conserving precious water resources? The focus has mostly been on how various energy sources impact both water quantity and quality, with little attention paid to what this means for fish and other freshwater biodiversity.

A new report published in PLoS One from Nature Conservancy scientists and Julian Olden (University of Washington) fills that void by looking at how much water various energy technologies will consume in coming decades and how this could affect freshwater species. The findings show how U.S. energy choices could also save water resources—which will come under increasing pressure from population growth and climate change.