Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
In 2014, the UN System – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy.
Objectives of World Water Day in 2014
- Raise awareness of the inter-linkages between water and energy,
- Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to the nexus of water and energy,
- Demonstrate, through case studies, to decision makers in the energy sector and the water domain that integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts,
- Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Water and UN-Energy, can offer significant contributions,
- Identify key stakeholders in the water-energy nexus and actively engaging them in further developing the water-energy linkages.
World Water Day 2014 Key Messages
1. Water requires energy and energy requires water
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution.
2. Supplies are limited and demand is increasing
Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.
3. Saving energy is saving water. Saving water is saving energy
Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another.
4. The “bottom billion” urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people currently live without electricity, 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people are without sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
5. Improving water and energy efficiency is imperative as are coordinated, coherent and concerted policies
Better understanding between the two sectors of the connections and effects on each other will improve coordination in energy and water planning, leading to reduced inefficiencies. Policy-makers, planners and practitioners can take steps to overcome the barriers that exist between their respective domains. Innovative and pragmatic national policies can lead to more efficient and cost effective provision of water and energy services.
What can you do?
We can all take small actions which will make a difference and conserve our precious water resources.
1. See and share the World Water Day video and read this year’s World Water Day leaflet.
2. Conserving water in the home saves money and reduces pressure on our water resources.
3. Organise a campaign in your community or job using the campaign resources provided here or rethink water use in your organization.
Did you find this information useful? Let us know what you are thinking of doing to conserve water?