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What is the water-energy nexus and why is it vital for environmental policies?

Water-energy nexus

In today’s world, increasing energy demand and at the same time decreasing freshwater supply make the Water-Energy nexus important. Water is needed to produce energy and energy is required to extract, treat and distribute water. This is simply called Water-Energy nexus.

Urbanization, supply and demand, climate change and population growth are amongst the main subjects that affect the correlation between water and energy in different ways. Fuel production (ethanol, Hydrogen), extraction and refining, hydropower and cooling needed for thermal generation are the main examples of the term water for energy. On the other hand, pumping and distribution, desalination, treatment and processing energy allied with uses of water and wastewater treatment are the main examples of the term energy for water.

Energy and water are two vital elements of the economy and essential factors for economic growth. The role of these two elements’ synergy bolds in regions that are facing water scarcity. Now the emerging issue is the ability of adaptation of water management policies and the way of encouraging energy consumption with a sustainable approach. Therefore, the integrated way of analyzing the cooperation between different water-energy sectors for the sake of maximizing efficiency of natural resources to find optimum environmental policies is a significant effort to achieve. Therefore, has ever been examining the energy footprint of water and at the same time the energy footprint of water more important than now?

To make a better understanding of the Water-Energy nexus, I have made a brief visual explanation of water energy nexus can be seen below:

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