In order for Rankine thermal generating plants to operate it has to have access to coolant waters. In fact there has to be quite a lot of coolant waters, in generating facilities that use the Rankine cycles for power. Thus coal fired steam plants typically are built by rivers, lakes or seas, in order to obtain access to coolant waters. The same is also true for nuclear powered steam plants. Occasionally the heat of summer will warm the coolant waters in lakes and rivers, until they are too hot to effectively cool the steam from Rankine cycle power plants. At that point the plant must shut down. Even more rarely extreme drought will cut the amount of water available until it can no longer sustain plant cooling. Again the plant must be shut down.
Climate scientists anticipate growing water shortages in the Southwest during the next decades. They note a long standing climate cycle that brings extreme drought to the American Southwest every few hundred years. Such droughts can typically last for a hundred years or longer. In addition to anticipated reductions in river water flow due to the drought, global warming is expected to decrease the amount of water entering the colorado river from the snow pack.
Now imagine, given these facts, how renewable energy advocates would respond to a plan to build 50 nuclear powered electrical generating plants in the Desert Southwest with cooling water to come from the drought stricken Colorado River and its tributaries. Suppose the plants were coal fired would environmentalist still object? You bet they would. If you asked them, would you object to any thermal plant, the answer would still be yes. Then ask them would they object to a solar thermal plant? The answer would be, "no way." Even if a solar thermal plant used as much water per kWh of electricity produced? The environmentalist are likely to tell you that it would be impossible for solar thermal plants to use as much water as nuclear power plants. Or they will tell you that ST plant's don't really use that much water, or that they can be cooled by air.
Of course, renewables advocates are in total denial about the use of water with solar thermal power. Did you ever read a discussion of solar thermal power in which the word water was used even once? The truth is that Solar thermal plants use as much water as nuclear plants do, and that it is improbably that a drought stricken Southwest could sustain as many solar thermal plants as say the Google or the Greenpeace energy plans call for.
In contrast, nuclear power plants do not have to be cooled by the waters of desert rivers. They can be built by the sea shore. The sea side location can facilitate the use of reactor waste heat for desalinization. Considering the potential water shortage in the Southwest, this production of water as a byproduct of the nuclear generation of electricity would no doubt be considered highly desirable.