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West-Wide Analysis of the Energy-Water Nexus.


Sandia National Laboratories


Vincent Tidwell

Barbie Moreland

Cesar Castillo

Howard Passell


1 June 2011

The western U.S. is home to many of the nation’s fastest growing cities. Accompanying this growth is the increasing demand for water for municipal/industrial supply as well as for expanding thermoelectric power production. This competition over new water demands is playing out in some of our nation’s driest watersheds. To better understand the energy-water nexus in the West a coordinated analysis is being undertaken by federal and state agencies, the power industry, NGOs and other interested stakeholders. A key product will be an integrated Energy-Water DSS to enable planners in the Western and Texas Interconnections to analyze the potential implications of water stress for transmission and resource planning. Working with Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Western Governors Association, and the Western States Water Council and utilizing this Energy-Water DSS a wide range of transmission planning scenarios will be simulated and evaluated. Data, models, scenario analyses, and insights derived from this effort will provide a significantly improved body of evidence for policy making at local, state and federal levels.