Today is World Water Day, a United Nations initiative that brings awareness to the lack of clean water available to almost a billion people across the world. This years theme is ‘Water & Energy’. Water and energy are irrevocably intertwined. Energy extraction, such as mining for coal, oil, and gas (hydraulic fracturing), requires significant water use. Water extraction and transport to customers requires significant energy use. As the world population continues to increase from 7 billion people, water and energy needs will also increase, and will only exacerbate the disparity of clean water availability. Many economists and environmentalists increasingly believe that future conflicts will be over water, particularly with the stress of climate change.
Value the resources that are available to you. Do your best to conserve water and energy.
1. Water requires energy and energy requires water.
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution.
2. Supplies are limited and demand is increasing.
Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.
3. Saving energy is saving water. Saving water is saving energy.
Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another.
4. The “bottom billion” urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity.
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
5. Improving water and energy efficiency is imperative as are coordinated, coherent and concerted policies.
Better understanding between the two sectors of the connections and effects on each other will improve coordination in energy and water planning, leading to reducing inefficiencies. Policy-makers, planners and practitioners can take steps to overcome the barriers that exist between their respective domains. Innovative and pragmatic national policies can lead to more efficient and cost effective provision of water and energy services.
– UN World Water Day