If Nebraska were to switch from coal to wind energy, it could save the state almost two billion gallons of water a year, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential and 13th for solar power potential. But the state relies heavily on coal to provide energy for its citizens.
The state’s coal-fired Sheldon Station alone uses 120,000 gallons of ground water per minute to cool the power plant. By switching to renewable energy, the state could use that water for agriculture, tourism, and community needs.
According to research from Synapse Energy Economics, coal-fired power plants are also known to adversely affect drinking water and water used in agriculture. The plants can also make air less breathable and have a negative impact on tourism. In addition, the generation process that can hurt hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor activities.