The largest nuclear power plant in the nation is also one of the only that utilizes reclaimed wastewater. According to a 2014 report by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating System, located just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of only 67 energy plants in the United States to utilize reclaimed water for cooling operations.  As the western drought continues, the use of reclaimed water to supply Palo Verde’s cooling towers helps reduce regional potable water demand on an already water stressed environment.
Palo Verde provides power to 4 million people in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California and Texas. It consumes 60,000 gallons of reclaimed water per minute and about 85 million each day.  Since the facility is not located near a body of water, it imports reclaimed water from nearby wastewater treatment plants. The treated wastewater is piped from the treatment plants through a 36.5-mile distribution system. Once it reaches Palo Verde, the wastewater is treated once more and is then used in its cooling towers. 
The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating System highlights the importance of maximizing water sustainability within the industrial sector. Utilizing reclaimed water to reduce the potable water consumption required by an energy plant of its magnitude helps sustain the region’s finite water supply. As reported by the NRDC, “Reclaimed water represents a valuable alternative water source that can not only help reduce pressure on our nation’s limited freshwater resources—and thereby reduce associated environmental impacts—but also help power plants become less vulnerable in times of water constraints.” 
 Natural Resources Defense Council. Power Plant Cooling and Associated Impacts: The Need to Modernize U.S. Power Plants and Protect Our Water Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems. NRDC, April 2014. Web. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/power-plant-cooling-IB.pdf
 Staahl, Derek. How the nation’s largest nuclear power plant stays cool in Arizona’s summer heat. Frankly and KTVK, June 24, 2016. Web. http://www.azfamily.com/story/32297749/how-the-nations-largest-nuclear-power-plant-stays-cool-in-arizonas-summer-heat