Water is a critical input in the production of electricity. It is used in power plant boilers as well as for cooling, cleaning and in some cases to transport fly ash and bottom ash. Water is also the source of hydroelectric power and provides transportation for our barge fleet to operate on the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
AEP operates 17 hydroelectric and pumped storage projects in five states.
Water quality, availability, use and management are increasingly important sustainability issues for our society and our company. We are taking steps to reduce our water consumption, improve our water quality and address water availability issues as we comply with current regulations and prepare for new ones. We are also participating in industry research to find new ways to treat waste water and reduce the use and consumption of water by power plants.
AEP places a high value on reporting our usage and management of water throughout our system. One way we do this is through voluntary reporting efforts. We have participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project Water Survey for five years now. In 2014, the questionnaire was issued on behalf of 573 investors representing $60 trillion in assets who seek business-critical information about water consumption and water use strategy and planning. In addition, AEP provides extensive water data in our Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report.