3.1 Water and energy: exploring the links between essential resources

22 May - 16.30 - 18.00

A coordinated approach to water and energy would bring considerable savings to both sectors. Energy production often requires large amounts of water (for hydropower, cooling power stations, irrigation for biofuels, and shale gas extraction for example), with impacts not only on water quantity and the amount available for irrigation, but also on water quality, thanks to the release of chemicals, changes in water temperature, the effect on river flows and so forth. Energy is also needed to abstract, treat and transport water. Improvements in water efficiency are likely to lead to lower energy consumption and thus lower overall environmental impacts. This session will make a case for a wider understanding of the importance of these linkages, arguing that any failure to account for both in production and consumption decisions may solve one problem, but will probably create another.