event 12 Apr 2018

Governance // Water for Energy in China

By Liao Xiawei, Jim W. Hall and Nick Eyre. Water and energy are both critical and fundamental to human society’s development and prosperity. They are also intrinsically and inextricably interlinked. This article looks at this interconnection specifically for China.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books globe Asia
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(C) Richard Lee / Unsplash

Water and energy are both critical and fundamental to human society’s development and prosperity. They are also intrinsically and inextricably interlinked. Energy is required to produce, deliver, and distribute fresh water (e.g. seawater desalination), as well as treating wastewater. Water is needed in different processes of energy production, from upstream fuel extraction, operational phases of power generation – primarily as a cooling medium – to downstream power plant dismantling. According to UN WWAP, about 90 percent of global power generation depends intensively on water. And thermoelectric cooling is estimated to be responsible for around 43 percent and 50 percent of total fresh water withdrawals within the EU and the US. Such interdependencies, which are often called the "water-energy nexus", have recently been brought to the forefront of scientific and policy debates. Indeed, while they have been traditionally governed as two independent issues with relevant policies being developed in isolation, the absence of integrated policies has increased water–energy trade-offs and related risks.

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Published

January 2018

In

Food, Energy and Water Sustainability. Emergent Governance Strategies. Ed. by Laura M. Pereira, Caitlin A. McElroy, Alexandra Littaye and Alexandra M. Girard, Routledge: 2018, p. 67-87.

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Cecilia Vey

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