Club issues concerns about PNM water usage

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Water and energy use are the topics of discussion at a meeting Wednesday in Albuquerque.

Members of the Sierra Club are discussing the way PNM uses water and the impacts that use has on the environment.

They are issuing a report listing their concerns about PNM’s plan to use large amounts of water for its operations through the year 2033.

The report claims that PNM has not properly made any transitions to use less water.

“The major difference between PNM’s plan and our plan is that our plan uses importantly less water and is importantly cheaper and uses lots more renewables,” said Jim Mackenzie, New Mexico co-coordinator.

The Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club hopes its water use report will encourage PNM to closely examine its water usage.

PNM’s Director of Integrated Communications, Pahl Shipley, issued the following statement:

PNM is committed to efficiently using and conserving fresh water resources, and company-wide has reduced the amount of fresh water consumed per megawatt hour by 19 percent since 2002. The state plan supported by PNM cuts water usage at San Juan Generating Station by half through the retirement of two units, as well as reducing seven other emissions, including greenhouse gases. It’s also important to note that Palo Verde uses mainly treated sewage water to cool the plant.

The company researched numerous models for replacement power, and we are confident that our plan contains the best mix of reliability, affordability, and cleaner energy resources, including renewables. The Sierra Club’s proposed alternative would be more expensive than PNM’s plan and would not impact water usage at either plant. After SJGS units 2 and 3 are retired, units 1 and 4 and Palo Verde will continue to run, providing critical base load power, whether or not PNM uses that energy.

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