Quantification of Water Energy Nexus for Sustainable Development at Local Level: Case Study of Tamil Nadu

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Sonia Grover, The Energy and Resources Institute TERI, New Delhi, India and Shresth Tayal, The Energy & Resources Institu, New Delhi, India
Interdependency between water and energy is generally transacted in trade-off mode; where either of the resource gets affected because of the other. Generally this trade-off is commonly known as water–energy nexus. Many studies have been undertaken in various parts of the world using various approaches to tease out the intricate nexus. This research has adopted a different approach to quantify the inter-dependency. The adopted approach made an attempt to tease out the nexus from demand side for both the resources. For water demand assessment PODIUM Sim model was used and for other parameters available secondary data was used. Using this approach percentage share of water for energy and energy for water was estimated. For an informed decision making and sustainable development, assessment was carried out at state level as most of the policies are made specifically for the state. The research was done for the southernmost state of India, Tamil Nadu which is a rapidly growing industrial hub. Tamil Nadu is energy and water intensive state and the analysis shows that the share of water demand from energy sector compared to water demand from other major sectors is miniscule. While, the energy demand in water sector for various processes in different sectors compared to energy demand as total has a comparable share of range 15-25%. This analysis indicated the relative risk sectors face in competition for the resource. It point outs that water sector faces fierce competition with other sectors for energy. Moreover, the results of the study has assessed that state has negative water balance, which may make access to water more energy intensive with time. But, a projection into future scenario with an assumption based on the ongoing policy program of improving irrigation efficiency was made. It provided a solution of a potential positive equilibrium which conserves both water and energy. This scenario gave promising results which indicated less of water demand from agricultural sector which is the most water intensive sector in the state, less requirement of energy for irrigation and improvement in overall water balance of the state.With the changing climate and growing population, resources at crisis can be managed sustainably if this nexus is decoded to understand the interdependency.