The latest version of the Stockholm Environment Institute's WEAP, unveiled at a side-event August 30 at World Water Week, adds new capabilities to explore so-called "nexus" issues, most notably a seamless link to SEI's Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) software.
Used together, the two systems can model evolving conditions in both water and energy systems and show the cross-sectoral impacts of different policy choices.
For example, WEAP users can import information from LEAP to see how hydropower demand in a region might change over time, or how thermoelectric power plants' cooling-water needs might increase as summers get hotter due to climate change. They can also link with LEAP to see how energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the water sector might change if, for example, they chose to desalinate seawater or clean and reuse wastewater instead of importing water that is pumped across long distances.
"With this new dynamic linkage to SEI's LEAP energy planning software, WEAP modelers can now create much more powerful and integrated models to explore both the impact of the energy system on the water system as well as the water system's impact on the energy system," says Jack Sieber, developer of WEAP and a senior scientist in SEI's U.S. Centre in Somerville, MA.