Energy Water Use

The 2020 update of the forecast of future water needs for thermoelectric energy production is posted at the link below.  These updates were prepared to inform the next updates to the Regional Water Plans.  The 2017 Regional Water Plans that are found on each Region's page were informed by the 2015 thermoelectric energy forecast, which is also posted below.   

The 2020 updated forecast reflects Georgia’s water needs for thermoelectric energy generation through 2060. The process used to prepare the updated forecast incorporated the most recent population projections developed by the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) and average energy consumption per capita to project future energy needs in Georgia. Note that population projections are lower than in previous planning efforts and average energy consumption per capita has also declined. Therefore, the projected need for energy in Georgia is lower than in prior energy water demand forecasts.

An energy sector advisory group, which was convened in April 2020, provided input and review during the forecast update process. Future energy production by type of generating facility is estimated statewide, from which the future water withdrawal and consumption by type of generating facility is estimated. The recent retirement of generating facilities and the expansion of nuclear power generation at Plant Vogtle are accounted for in this update. Assumptions are made regarding the gradual future retirement of coal-fired generating facilities across the state. The need for additional energy generation in the future is assumed to be provided by natural gas and renewable energy sources.

The results of this forecast update provide region-specific forecasts of water needs for thermoelectric energy generation from existing and known planned facilities. Future addition of natural-gas generation is assumed to be co-located with existing natural gas facilities. The information presented in this 2020 updated forecast will be used by the Regional Water Planning Councils in their next update of the Regional Water Plans, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023.