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Droughts in Southeast raise stakes for power plants grappling with water management

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The four large smokestacks at Georgia Power's Plant Bowen tower over the smaller tents, sheds and buildings that make up what essentially is a living laboratory for water management and treatment at power plants. This is the Water Research Center. The idea -- and some of the startup money -- came from Georgia Power, but what develops from the research could transform the utility industry nationwide as it faces water and wastewater regulations and stricter conservation measures.

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