News Release

October 12, 2016

For Immediate Release
Contact: Whitney Doll, Senior Communications Specialist, 703-861-1351

CNA Simulator Helps Texas Plan for Increasing Demands on Electricity and Water Use

Arlington, VA — CNA today released an online tool that helps Texas policymakers and regulators reduce the state’s vulnerability to drought by making informed decisions about electricity supply and demand and water usage.

In 2011 Texas experienced the worst single-year drought in its recorded history. Demand for electricity was at an all-time high because of the heat, and the water needed to cool the state’s coal, nuclear and gas power plants was in short supply. In some places, water levels had dropped below intake pipes; in others, available water was too hot to provide effective cooling. Texans were warned that rolling blackouts were possible, as power plants that could not be properly cooled would have to shut down.

In order to mitigate future crises, CNA built the energy-water simulator, an innovative new tool that demonstrates how changes in the power supply will affect costs, water availability, air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. The tool takes into account the current Texas power sector, including existing coal, nuclear and natural gas plants as well as solar and wind farms, and shows users where new facilities and resources are needed to meet increased demand.

"CNA’s simulator is a critical tool for decision-makers in Texas where water resources are limited," says Lars Hanson, research analyst at CNA. "Texas policymakers can test out different energy plans, whether that be building more coals plants or increasing the number of solar farms, to see how the diverse approaches stack up against each other."

For more information and to run the simulator, visit

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and classrooms, and working side-by-side with a wide array of government decision-makers around the world. In addition to defense-related matters for the U.S. Department of the Navy, CNA’s research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security, energy security, water resources, enterprise systems and data analysis, and education.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."


Elizabeth Cutler
Sr Communications Specialist

John Stimpson
Communications Associate