Life Cycle Water Consumption and Water Resource Assessment for Utility-Scale Geothermal Systems: An In-Depth Analysis of Historical and Forthcoming EGS Projects


This report is the third in a series of reports sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Program in which a range of water-related issues surrounding geothermal power production are evaluated. The first report made an initial attempt at quantifying the life cycle fresh water requirements of geothermal power-generating systems and explored operational and environmental concerns related to the geochemical composition of geothermal fluids. The initial analysis of life cycle fresh water consumption of geothermal power-generating systems identified that operational water requirements consumed the vast majority of water across the life cycle. However, it relied upon limited operational water consumption data and did not account for belowground operational losses for enhanced geothermal systems (EGSs). A second report presented an initial assessment of fresh water demand for future growth in utility-scale geothermal power generation. The current analysis builds upon this work to improve life cycle fresh water consumption estimates and incorporates regional water availability into the resource assessment to improve the identification of areas where future growth in geothermal electricity generation may encounter water challenges.

11 Resources

*downloads since 2019

Related Datasets

Datasets associated with the same DOE project
  Submission Name Resources Submitted Status

Additional Info

DOE Project Number: ANL FY12 AOP 2
DOE Project Lead: Arlene Anderson
DOI: 10.15121/1148816
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from August, 2013
Submitted Sep 23, 2013


Argonne National Laboratory



Publicly accessible License 


Jenna N. Schroeder
Argonne National Laboratory
C. E. Clarke
Argonne National Laboratory
C. B. Harto
Argonne National Laboratory
L. E. Martino
Argonne National Laboratory
R. M. Horner
Argonne National Laboratory


geothermal, EGS, water, life cycle, water consumption, power, regional water resource assessment, stimulation, international, domestic, geology, permit, Nevada, production, injection, California, Oregon, operational, aboveground, make-up, cooling, well, observation well, NEPA, drilling, production well, injection well, chemical, flow test, circulation test, exploration well, loss, reservoir loss, belowground loss, operational loss, loss rate, life cycle assessment, water resource


Export Citation to RIS
Submission Downloads