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World Bank Releases ‘Thirsty Energy’ Publications

World Bank29 August 2013: The World Bank has released a series of publications on the importance of tackling the growing interlinkages between energy and water, as part of an initiative titled "Thirsty Energy." The brief, working paper, and initiative summary suggest that the already critical dependence of energy and water is likely to become even more acute considering growing demands of emerging economies and 'graduating' countries.

The comprehensive 72-page working paper recalls the estimation that, by 2030 nearly half of the world's population will be living in areas of high water scarcity, which will affect energy and food security, and notes that 90% of global energy production is water intensive. Presenting the main global trends regarding water consumption, the report highlights the creation of a new global initiative named 'Quantifying the Tradeoffs of the Water and Energy Nexus,' which aims to assist developing countries to assess and quantify the social, environmental and economic tradeoffs of water in energy plans.

The report indicates that developing countries have limited experience in energy projections and associated water consumption. It also stresses that an improved understanding of the cross-sectoral implications and energy-water nexus are essential for the formulation of climate-resilient policies and the move towards green growth. The Thirst Energy initiative, it states, aims to combat this capacity gap by implementing new energy-water nexus evaluation methodologies in partner countries that it hopes to scale up and out over time.

In conclusion, the study recommends, inter alia: the incorporation of more accurate projections for water demands and consumptive use for all sectors, such as energy, agriculture (including biomass), public water supply, and the environment; the integration of regulatory and political reforms in planning; and broader partnerships with affected public involved in projects. [Publication: Thirsty Energy Working Paper] [Publication: Thirst Energy Initiative Summary] [World Bank Thirsty Energy News Article]