2 Jan 2013

Question of the week

Welcome back from the holidays! Now let's get to work...
Many people talk about the water-energy nexus (or the water-energy-food-climate nexus).

Although these sectors are clearly connected, do you think that water and energy should be managed together or separately?


Tim said...


Greetings from Vancouver, British Columbia. Happy New Year!

The water-energy nexus is a topic that always excites me. While I don't have a lot to contribute to this topic right now, I did want to draw your attention to a new report by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance that examines the water-energy nexus in British Columbia:


Among their recommendations, they call for more appropriate pricing of water and energy resources.

Spreck Rosekrans said...

Yes the nexus should be part of public policy and business considerations but here in California it has been overhyped a bit.

Estrella Sainburg said...

Definitely a case by case situation. In Los Angeles, water and power are managed in unison, which seems to be functional. However, in areas where water infrastructure is not even in place, I dont believe that the attention should be spread thin. In Honduras and in rural Mexico, clean water is a priority. Attention on energy is secondary where water infrastructure has failed or is nonexistent. What do you think David?

Jake R. said...

Greetings from China all.

David, its been a while since we shared burgers in D.C. Happy new year!

Ive been a big fan of the work on this topic by the China Environment Forum and Circle of Blue, for all interested, check out their "Choke Point China/US/India" reports.

I agree with Estrella, this is certainly a case by case situation. The water shortage and pollution problems in China, along with unprecedented economic growth, has already led to billion dollar "patch up" infrastructure projects - such as the North-South water project (Nanshuibeidiao). We live in a time of scarcity, continuing to manage the energy and water sector independently will create
a overly-bureaucratic mess, slow development, and give mixed signals to industry. Integrating water and energy management is the efficient choice.

David Zetland said...

@Estrella -- I find it interesting that people put more weight on energy than water. We were just on an island where people had power to their homes (karaoke!) but had to walk to a spring for water. Their choice. Does this mean that politicians should also emphasize energy or that they should do 'what's good for them"?

@Jake -- It may make sense to co-manage in China, where the government has no sense of market or democratic signals, if only to prevent "unmanaged" disaster. That said, their managed disasters (e.g., N-S transfer) are pathetic.

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