Infographic: 10 Things You Should Know about Water + Energy

Key facts about a collision with national consequences.

U.S. energy production withdraws and consumes more fresh water than any industrial sector besides agriculture. With the exception of wind power and solar photovoltaics, all of the clean energy resources available to the United States use more water than producing energy from conventional fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Moreover, “unconventional” reserves of oil-bearing tar sands, oil shales and deep gas-bearing shales use more water than the conventional oil and gas reserves they are replacing.

Click through the interactive infographic below to learn more facts about the confrontation occurring at the place where rising energy demand meets declining freshwater supplies.

Graphic © Mark Townsend/Ball State University for Circle of Blue

Graphic created by Ball State University undergraduate student, Mark Townsend, with data compiled by Circle of Blue’s Aubrey Parker and Andrea Hart. Reach them at and

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3 replies
  1. water says:

    How much energy does the USA require to run its water treatment systems? I’ve read in the neighbourhood of 25% to 35% of all powered used in the USA, does this sound right? I know to treat water you need electricity and to make electriciity you need water, they run hand in hand.

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