Geothermal Water Use: Life Cycle Water Consumption, Water Resource Assessment, and Water Policy Framework


This report examines life cycle water consumption for various geothermal technologies to better understand factors that affect water consumption across the life cycle (e.g., power plant cooling, belowground fluid losses) and to assess the potential water challenges that future geothermal power generation projects may face. Previous reports in this series quantified the life cycle freshwater requirements of geothermal power-generating systems, explored operational and environmental concerns related to the geochemical composition of geothermal fluids, and assessed future water demand by geothermal power plants according to growth projections for the industry. This report seeks to extend those analyses by including EGS flash, both as part of the life cycle analysis and water resource assessment. A regional water resource assessment based upon the life cycle results is also presented. Finally, the legal framework of water with respect to geothermal resources in the states with active geothermal development is also analyzed.

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DOE Project Number: FY13 AOP 2.1
DOE Project Lead: Arlene Anderson
DOI: 10.15121/1136704
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from June, 2014
Submitted Jun 10, 2014


Argonne National Laboratory



Publicly accessible License 


Jenna N. Schroeder
Argonne National Laboratory
Christopher B. Harto
Argonne National Laboratory
Robert M. Horner
Argonne National Laboratory
Corrie E. Clark
Argonne National Laboratory


geothermal, power, EGS, water, policy, hydrothermal, binary, flash, water resource assessment, GETEM, life cycle assessment, water resource, water consumption, EGS flash


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