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EN8 - Total water withdrawal by source

Steam Electric Facilities
Water is critical to the operation of most power generating facilities for steam production and plant cooling purposes. Power plants withdraw, but do not consume, large amounts of water. The largest AEP once-through cooled plants can withdraw up to 2.37 billion gallons of water per day from the source water body when operated at maximum design flows.

Using 2009 as an example year, the average annual rate of cooling water withdrawal, for all AEP power plants combined, was approximately 16.4 billion cubic meters per year or nearly 11.8 billion gallons of water per day (Table 1). Despite the large withdrawal of cooling water at AEP power plants, most of the water is used for once-through cooling in steam condensers and is returned to the source water body almost immediately. Much of the water that is used for cooling in the steam condensers at plants that have closed-cycle cooling systems is recycled. This cooling water is routed through cooling towers to reduce the amount of heat in the water and then recycled back into the plant for reuse in the cooling process. USEPA has estimated that closed-cycle cooling systems such as these require only 5 percent of the water that once-through cooling systems require (USEPA 1982).

Water used for other purposes, such as coal ash removal from generating units, steam make-up, or equipment cooling, is also returned to the source water bodies. However, this water must first be treated to meet effluent limits specified in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits before it can be released to the source water bodies.

Table 1. AEP 2010 power plant water withdrawals*

Facility State Type Water Source Avg Ann Rate of Water Withdrawal 2010
Amos WV Coal Kanawha River 50,240,755 36.4 863
Arsenal Hill/Stall LA Gas 12 Mile Bayou 1,819,486 1.3 8,162
Big Sandy KY Coal Big Sandy River 17,483,571 12.7 705
Cardinal OH Coal Ohio River 965,087,140 698.5 25,349
Ceredo WV Gas Municipal - Kenova not measured --- ---
Clifty Creek IN Coal Ohio River 1,717,229,684 1242.9 57,457
Clinch River VA Coal Clinch River 12,068,115 8.7 2,124
Comanche OK Gas Lawton POTW 11,716,978 8.5 3,376
Conesville OH Coal Muskingum River 167,197,886 121 6,837
Cook MI Nuclear Lake Michigan 2,747,159,555 1988.3 46,383
Darby OH Gas Ground water not measured --- ---
Dresden OH Gas Muskingum River 0 0 0
Flint Creek AR Coal SWEPCO Lake 373,640,701 270.4 27,468
Gavin OH Coal Ohio River 88,854,383 64.3 1,243
Glen Lyn VA Coal New River 118,330,860 85.6 146,659
Greenville OH Gas Groundwater not measured --- ---
Kammer WV Coal Ohio River 398,131,880 288.1 70,190
Kanawha River WV Coal Kanawha River 268,982,969 194.7 62,307
Knox Lee TX Gas Lk. Cherokee 230,661,039 166.9 144,686
Kyger Creek OH Coal Ohio River 1,455,207,213 1053.2 57,046
Lawrenceburg IN Gas Tanners Creek 1,471,371 1.1 251
Lieberman LA Gas/oil Caddo Lake 301,354,544 218.1 828,680
Lone Star TX Gas/oil Ellison Creek Res. 131,121 0.1 1,832
Mattison AR Gas Ground water not measured --- ---
Mitchell WV Coal Ohio River 37,606,513 27.2 970
Mone OH Gas Ground water not measured --- ---
Mountaineer WV Coal Ohio River 21,342,964 15.4 698
Muskingum River OH Coal Muskingum River 806,376,149 583.6 31,786
Northeastern OK Gas/coal Oologah Res. 36,222,457 26.2 980
Oklaunion TX Coal Lake Diversion 7,693,266 5.6 558
Picway OH Coal Scioto River 14,190,000 10.27 57,607
Pirkey TX Lignite Brandy Branch Res. 277,531,007 200.9 15,125
Riverside OK Gas Arkansas River 630,963 0.5 83
Rockport IN Coal Ohio River 40,648,138 29.4 609
Southwestern OK Gas Ft. Bobb Res. 4,438,440 3.2 1,398
Sporn WV Coal Ohio River 843,579,453 610.5 90,279
Tanners Creek IN Coal Ohio River 812,303,726 587.9 54,986
Tulsa OK Gas Arkansas River 465,184 0.3 484
Waterford OH Gas Muskingum River 2,017,928 1.5 437
Weleetka OK Diesel Ground water not measured --- ---
Welsh TX Coal Welsh Res. 3,291,277,578 2382.1 80,271
Wilkes TX` Gas/oil Johnson Creek Res. 103,011,196 74.6 17,644
Totals: 15,226,104,213 11,020
Avg gals/MWH : 51,265
* Eastern fleet information based on annual water withdrawal reports; Cook Plant data based on 12 EA 6090 EMR.501 data.  Western fleet data collected by Kristian Rose-Anderson thru plant communication.


Source Information - Data is initially collected from plant staff and used to complete Form EIA-923 (formerly EIA-767).  Plant staff determine water withdraw rates in a variety of ways, but essentially they base their estimates on GADS generation data and use a conversion factor (gals/MW) to determine water volume used.  Others may use the number of pumps in service and assume a pumping rate.  In general, pump meters are not used.  Data from 2010 are used due to the delay in getting 2011 data from the plants in time to complete the GRI report.