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‘Water crisis is not getting the same attention as energy security’

Nuno Fragoso, Director of the Water and Environment Division at Eptisa, says people and industries are yet to realise the interdependence of the water and energy sectors

| | Mar 26, 2017 | 5:06 pm
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Globally, more and more countries are recognising the need to adopt environmentally friendly ways of energy generation, develop energy-efficient technologies, with ‘sustainability’ being the keyword in such discussions. While energy generation and consumption have been getting the attention that is necessary in present times, it appears that water availability and the crisis around us has not been recognised as a serious issue yet, even in the Middle East region.

Identifying one such problem that is prevalent in the region, Nuno Fragoso, Director of the Water and Environment Division at Eptisa, said that people and industries are yet to completely understand the link between the water and energy sectors. “Water is used in many applications,” he said, “but people generally don’t realise that. For example, thermal power stations that produce electricity need to cool their equipment using water. Not many are aware of that, though.”

Explaining the connection between the two sectors and their reliance on one another for functioning, Fragoso said: “Water and energy are resources that are reciprocally and mutually linked. Energy demand requires water, often in large quantities, for mining, fuel production, hydropower and power plant cooling.”

Referring to a snippet from a World Bank January 2014 paper, titled “Will Water Constrain Our Energy Future?” to emphasise his point, he quoted: “Energy systems are becoming more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As temperatures get warmer, so do the rivers and lakes that power plants draw their cooling water from – which makes it harder to generate electricity in the coming decades.”¹

With the future looking grim as more places on the earth have been identified as reeling under droughts or water scarcity, there is a need for industries and countries to recognise the looming threat and act swiftly.

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