Water-Energy Nexus: Solutions To Meet A Growing Demand

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Source:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Authors:
Timothy Huth
Debra Perrone
Casey Brown
Dennis Lettenmaier
Date:
6 September 2012

Water and energy are vital to the prosperity of the United States. This report describes the intimate but easily overlooked connections between the two resources: energy production relies on enormous amounts of water, and developing and delivering water supplies consumes large amounts of energy. As demand for both water and energy is expected to increase with population growth, this report describes the challenges to addressing limited water and energy supplies. Obstacles exist at all scales and demand involvement of stakeholders, experts, and policymakers. In particular, this report argues that because of the ubiquitous nature of the nexus between water and energy, a large-scale or system view is required to address both resource supplies together. Water and energy managers, stakeholders, and consumers can benefit greatly from enhanced data coverage, improved coordination between stakeholders and government agencies, investments in technology, anticipated supply changes from climate change, and policies to encourage suitable utility and consumer practices.