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World Water Development Report 2014 Highlights Water and Energy Challenges

WWAP21 March 2013: The World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2014 ‘Water and Energy,' produced by the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), which is hosted by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlights that those people lacking access to improved sanitation and drinking water are often the same as those not connected to an electric power grid, and examines the close interconnections between water and energy.

WWDR 2014, which was released on the occasion of World Water Day 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, notes that 15% of current water withdrawal is from energy production, and is expected to increase to 20% by 2035 due to population growth, urbanization and changing consumption patterns. The report emphasizes the importance of coordinated management policies across the two sectors, and identifies combined water and electricity production systems, and the use of recycled water for energy production as potential solutions.

The report includes two volumes, the first, titled ‘Water and Energy,' and the second, titled ‘Facing the Challenge,' as well as annexed data and indicators on water and energy. Volume 1 includes sections on: status, trends and challenges; thematic focuses; regional aspects; and responses - fostering synergies and managing tradeoffs. The report also examines hydroelectricity potential, as well as the negative impacts on biodiversity and human communities, as well as increasing water demand of biofuel crops and shale gas extraction.

The section on the status, trends and challenges includes chapters on: the water-energy nexus; water demands, energy requirements and availability; energy's thirst for water; and data challenges and opportunities. The section on thematic focuses addresses infrastructure, food and agriculture, cities, industry and ecosystems. Case studies from Europe and North America, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab region, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa are presented in the section on regional aspects. Chapters on creating an enabling environment for change and responses in practice are included in the section on responses.

Volume 2 includes specific case studies on: green energy generation in Vienna, Austria; the Three Gorges project on the Yangtze River in China; hydropower development in eastern Herzegovina; desalination in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries; water use efficiency in thermal power plants in India; a science-based tool for integrating geothermal resources into regional energy planning in Umbria, Italy; the role of hydroelectric power states in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake; green energy production from municipal sewage sludge in Japan; the role of geothermal energy in Kenya's long-term development vision; the Four Major Rivers Project as part of the National Green Growth Strategy in Republic of Korea; solar-powered wastewater treatment plant in Mexico; water and energy linkage in Austin, Texas, US; and the use and prospects for geothermal energy in Turkey.

WWDR 2014 is the fifth in the WWDR series, which had been produced every three years. WWDR 2014 is the first report in the new annual format, which focuses on a single subject rather than examining all aspects of water. The theme of the sixth edition to be launched in 2015 is ‘water and sustainable development.' [UNESCO WWDR Press Release, 3 March 2014] [UNESCO WWDR Press Release, 21 March 2014] [Publication: WWDR 2014] [UN-Water Press Release]