24 Feb 2010

Energy pricing bleg

GM asks:
Do you know whether power plants in the US are charged marginal rates for water withdrawals and "consumption" (e.g. through evaporation)?
I don't know, but I guess that they pay little or nothing, since their water either comes from a stream or their own wells, and marginal prices apply to treated water. (If there was a water market, we'd see the effects of marginal prices.)

Do you guys know?


  1. Long ago, on the East coast, utilities paid nothing. They actually made small amounts of money because the water came out of their plants cleaner and warmer than when it went in.
    Aquaculturists rented land immediately downstream of the plant and benefited from the warmed water.

    I don't know about water usage in Western power plants.

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