The contest between coal-fired energy production and water demand is a mismatch. Mining and burning coal accounts for half of all water withdrawals in the United States, which is the same amount of water that pours over Niagara Falls in five months. Burning coal in power plants also is the source of more climate-changing carbon emissions than any other industrial sector. Here’s a look at the economically essential and ecologically damaging accord between coal and water.
Graphic by Kalin Wood, a Circle of Blue graphic designer. With contribution from Aubrey Ann Parker, a Circle of Blue reporter and data analyst. Reach them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.