Adequate water and energy are critical to the continued economic security of the United States. The relationship between energy and water is complex, and the scientific community is increasingly recognizing the importance of better understanding the linkages between these two resource domains. Federal agencies, the private sector, and academic researchers have noted that the lack of data on energy-water linkages remains a key limitation to fully characterizing the scope of this issue.
Beginning in June 2013, the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability in collaboration with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Water Science and Technology Board contributed to the emerging dialogue on the energy-water nexus by holding four related meetings. These meetings were designed to examine emerging technical and policy mechanisms to address energy-water issues. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from these meetings.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: 2013-2014 Meetings in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/21849.
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Infographic: Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus
How can we reduce the consumption of fresh water used to produce electricity? This infographic summarizes some of the discussion points from meetings of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability around this question.
Meeting 1: Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus
The June 2013 meeting featured panel discussions focused on addressing issues related to the energy-water nexus. The meeting examined key questions, including data and partnerships needs for addressing the energy-water nexus.
Meeting 2: Power Plants and Partnerships
Following up on the June 2013 Roundtable meeting, which introduced and provided a broad overview of the energy-water nexus, the December 2013 meeting delved deeper into energy-water nexus issues. Using a place-based approach, the meeting examined how changing water conditions have affected the operations of power plants and the role of research on new water-saving technologies for power plants. Click here to view the final agenda, power point presentations and meeting summary.
Meeting 3: Furthering Technological Innovation
The May 2014 meeting featured panel discussions addressing issues related to the energy-water nexus through further technological innovation. The panels examined research needs for optimizing current technologies, addressing existing barriers and emerging technology innovations, and advancing the integrative field of the energy-water nexus to address key challenges. Click here to view the final agenda, power point presentations and meeting summary.
Meeting 4: Need for Improved Data and Decision Support Tools
As the fourth and final session of the Roundtable’s 2013-2014 initiative, the December 2014 event featured panel discussions examining energy-water nexus issues, specifically improved data for water use, decision support tools, and decision-based frameworks for local and regional decision-making. Click here to view the final agenda, power point presentations, and Meeting in Brief.
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