From page 97 in the Final EA for wild horse management actions at the Barren Valley Complex in southeast Oregon:
Q. Can the EA disclose water usage of each oil and gas rig, wind turbine and geothermal plant; the number of acres designated for buildings/equipment associated with them; and their effects on sage-grouse, wildlife and wild horses?
A. This issue is outside the scope of the analysis as there are no oil/gas rigs, wind turbines or geothermal plants within the vicinity of the HMA.
The EA actually considers three HMAs so perhaps the answer should say “within the vicinity of the Complex?”
Wind turbines make electricity from (OMG) wind. Hydroelectric plants make electricity from falling water, which is clean, dependable and affordable but gets no traction in the media. Wind turbines are better because they don’t chop up fish.
Geothermal plants might need water for cooling tower makeup, if they use water-cooled condensers. Some of these plants use fin-fan condensers, which reject heat to the air.
These plants are often closed loop—whatever comes out of the ground as steam goes back in as condensate, but some water may be needed to make up for system losses.
Maybe we’ll take these people more seriously when they can provide an estimate of the number of wild horses that can be returned to the range if drilling was stopped.
The amount of land needed to set up drilling rigs is miniscule compared to the amount of land (and forage) devoured by public-lands ranching.