Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on the Water-Energy Nexus

Monday, 15 December 2014
Weiwei Mo, University of New Hampshire Main Campus, Durham, NH, United States and Jennifer M Jacobs, Univ New Hampshire, Durham, NH, United States
Water-energy nexus refers to the fact that a lot of energy is used for treating and delivering water, and a large amount of water is needed for energy production. This interrelation reinforces water and energy consumptions and challenges the sustainable management of both resources in light of growing population, developing economy, and dwindling resources. Climate change often exacerbates the negative effects of the water-energy nexus by intervening water and energy allocation, availability, and quality, forcing communities to seek more energy dependent alternative water sources and/or more water dependent alternative energy sources. The climate-water-energy interrelations play an important role in water and energy management, yet our understandings on the interactions between climate and the water-energy nexus are still very limited. Therefore, this study aims at qualitatively and quantitatively assessing the impacts of climate change from the water-energy nexus perspective by investigating previous literatures, case studies, climate change patterns, and recent extreme climate events. Management difficulties resulted from climate related source shifts as well as policy and regulation changes will be illustrated and discussed. Research needs and gaps on the climate-water-energy interrelations will be addressed.