"Bringing the Water-Energy Nexus to LIFE!"
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Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week // "Bringing the Water-Energy Nexus to LIFE!"

The ADIREC side event focused on the various policy and technology options for meeting future energy demand and their different implications on water resources. Already, water availability is a major constraint for the energy sector.

The Doha side event on 15 January 2013 was jointly organised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany in cooperation with the World Bank.

From 13 until 17 January 2013, representatives from more than 140 countries met in Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, this year's most important conference on renewable energies.

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week comprised inter alia the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference 2013 (ADIREC), the Sixth Annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and the International Water Summit (IWS).

The ADIREC side event "Bringing the Water-Energy Nexus to LIFE!" on 15 January 2013 was organized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany in cooperation with the World Bank.

The discussions focused on the various policy and technology options for meeting future energy demand and their different implications on water resources. Already, water availability is a major constraint for the energy sector. Trade-offs between water use for energy and other water uses, not at least food production are likely to increase, depending inter alia on the choices made in energy policies and planning. Therefore, a better understanding of the cross sectoral implications — involving land use, food production, urbanization, demographics and environmental protection — and of the relevance of theses cross sectoral inter linkages and interdependencies for designing future energy systems is becoming more important. Thus, integrating the water-energy nexus is key to a successful energy transition.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier emphasized the need for integrated planning of energy and water systems. Fostering efficient energy systems and renewable energies bears the opportunity to reduce the water food print of energy production and thus the competition for water resources with other sectors, such as agriculture. Water, energy and food security are prerequisites for sustainable development and can only be realized through an integrated approach, the Nexus approach. The Federal Government of Germany will contribute to the integration of the Nexus Perspective in the Sustainable Development Goals.

IRENA executive director Amin highlighted the importance of analyzing the linkages between water, energy and food production in order to develop national implementation strategies for renewable energies. IRENA will engage in the Nexus perspective in the scope of its new work programme.

Vivien Foster (World Bank) presented the Flagship Initiative of the World Bank ({http://www.water-energy-food.org/en/news/view__1088/the-world-bank-and-the-water-energy-linkages.html diego.rodriguez@worldbank.org|NEXUS Interview on the World Bank initiative}), which aims at the development and testing of tools for an economic assessment of water and energy scenarios, to be used to strategically advise national governments.

Rabi Mohatar, executive director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute explained the relevance of the Nexus approach for arid and semi-arid countries with very limited water resources. Up to today, Qatar fully depends on food imports and uses a lot of energy in order to ensure water provision for people and the economy. Therefore, Qatar currently develops an integrated planning tool which aims at adjusting and testing it to the national circumstances.

Achim Steiner (UNEP) highlighted the role of ecosystems in maintaining our society's capability to operate. He called major sector institutions as UN Water, FAO and Sustainable Energy for All to join forces, since the Nexus perspective is crucial for managing future challenges and transiting to a green economy.

Joppe Cramwinckel from the World Business Council on Sustainable Development stressed the Nexus perspective as a way to develop and implement optimized solutions at large scale.

Dirk Schattschneider (BMZ) stated that the German government plans to further concretize and implement the Nexus approach together with regional partners as well as within bilateral cooperation in different regions.

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