This paper explores the interconnection between water and energy production and presents energy policy-makers with factors to take into consideration for both the present and the future.
The link between water and energy is important to keep an eye on as well.
According to Population Action International, and based on the UN projections of global population, more than 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will face water scarcity conditions by 2025.6 Out of these countries, 40 are located in West Asia, North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, the number of countries that will face water scarcity scenarios will grow to 54 and 40% of the projected global population will be affected.
The implications for the energy sector are significant. Any energy policy being drafted in these regions will have to consider that power plants across these areas will face some form of water scarcity. The life cycle of power plants is estimated at on average 20-40 years, so any electric generation facility being planned or under construction in these regions will have to factor water scarcity into the equation.
All forms of energy require water at some stage of their life cycle: from production to distribution and use. In particular, water is a major component in thermoelectric and hydropower generation today.