Water requirements throughout the electricity generation life cycle have important implications for the electricity sector. Thermoelectric power plant operations are estimated as responsible for around 36% [1] to 41% [2] of total freshwater withdrawals in the United States and 3% of total freshwater consumption [1,3]. However, the life cycle of electricity generation consists of many stages besides power plant operation, including component manufacturing, fuel acquisition, processing, and transport, and power plant decommissioning. The water requirements associated with choices along this life cycle, such as the selection of fuel type or cooling technology, are not well understood.

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