The Water, Energy and Environment Nexus
In October 2000, Global Green USA (GG USA) held the Fourth Annual Sstainability Symposium. The objective of the Global Green USA Sustainability Symposia was to address difficult environmental issues affecting California and the globe. The focus of the 2000 symposium was to better educate the public about the nexus between water and energy by highlighting the connections in California and in othe locations around the globe. In the years following the Symposium, the importance of the water and energy nexus has gained further relevance with the exacerbation of global climate change and diminishing fresh water resources.
The solutions to water and energy management issues require that decision-makers, policy leaders, and the public better understand the relationship between water and energy and take the necessary steps to ensure the sustainable supply and use of these resources.
The objective of the paper titled The Water, Energy and Environment Nexus: Exploring the Intersections – The California Experience, and published in 2002, was to explore the connections between water and energy, to bring awareness to some of the numerous ways these two valuable resources interact with and are dependent upon one another, and how their management affects the environment.
By focusing primarily on California as a case study, the Global Green USA Sustainability Symposium highlighted the difficulties of balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders and protecting valuable resources while providing reliable and safe supplies of both water and energy to agricultural, industrial, and residential customers.
Water-Energy Nexus in British Columbia
Dr. Robert WIlkinson, Director, Water Policy Program at the University of California at Santa Barbara, was one of the authors of the 2002 Global Green USA report. In April 2005, Dr. Wilkinson participated in a Convening for Action workshop in British Columbia. In his ppresentation, he provided an overview of lessons that the water industry can learn from the energy industry; provided context on the implications of climate change; and introduced the water/energy nexus project that the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) commissioned for the Greater Vancouver region.
The CMHC project provides an analysis of the ‘energy intensity' of water in Vancouver, as well as an initial exploration of opportunities for securing multiple benefits through integrated management strategies. To view Dr. Wilkinson's presentaton, click here.
According to Dr. Wilkinson: “The key concerns between the water and energy industries are the same; and the issues are similar. One difference is that the energy industry tackled demand management much sooner than the water industry.”
Posted July 2007