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World Water Day 2014 - Water and energy.

water energyWill address the nexus of water and energy and it will be coordinated by the United Nations University (UNU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on behalf of UN-Water.

Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Recent interest in biofuels also creates an incremental demand on water resources; the latest World Water Development Report (2012) predicts that even a nominal increase in biofuel demand (say 5% of road transport by 2030, as predicted by International Energy Agency) could push up the water demand by as much as 20% of the water used for agriculture worldwide. Additionally, biofuel production is linked to increases in water pollution through increased used of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers. Co-production of water and energy, as is the case for geothermal energy generation, offers interesting opportunities to energy- and water-scarce countries.

world water collum water & energy 22.03.2014       World Water Day 2014 logo 

Facts and figures

The Facts and Figures in this section are drawn from the upcoming edition of the World Water Development Report on Water and Energy that will be published in March 2014 and launched on the occasion of World Water Day celebrations in Tokyo, Japan.




Hydroelectricity is currently the largest renewable source for power generation in the world. Hydropower’s share in total electricity generation is expected to remain around 16% through 2035.


HydrowpowerHydropower and water use

Most of the water used for hydropower generation is returned to the river though some is consumed (reservoir evaporation) and there are important impacts on timing and quality of streamflows.


wasteIndustrial water use

Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.


Financing waterFinancing water

For developing countries alone $103 billion per year are required to finance water, sanitation and wastewater treatment through 2015.

energy for waterEnergy for water

Energy is required for two components of water provision: pumping and treatment (before and after use).


waterborne transportationWaterborne transportation

Waterborne transit is one of the most energy efficient. Inland towing barges are more than 3 times more energy efficient than road trucks and 40% more efficient than rail.

Biogas produceBiogas produced from sewage

In Stockholm, public buses, waste collection trucks and taxis run on biogas produced from sewage treatment plants.

Access to waterAccess to water and sanitation

In 2011, 768 million people did not use an improved source of drinkingwater and 2.5 billion people did not use improved sanitation.

Access to electricityAccess to electricity

More than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and roughly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking.

Wind powerWind power


Wind power is the most sustainable source of renewable energy, mainly because of its low greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.


UN Urges Ethiopia to suspend Gibe III dam construction

In June, a committee concluded that the construction of the dam endangered the existence of Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The United Nations has called for Ethiopia to suspend construction of the giant Gibe III Dam, pending a detailed environmental assessment of the project’s impact on Lake Turkana and the surrounding area.

The decision came in June during the 35th annual session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, which establishes sites to be listed as being of special cultural or physical significance. The committee concluded that the construction of the dam endangered the existence of Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“The World Heritage Committee expresses its utmost concern about the proposed construction of the GIBE III dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia and its likely impacts on Lake Turkana, which is located downstream, in neighbouring Kenya, and draws almost 90 percent of its inflow from the above river,” the organization said in an official statement.

Generating Marine Electricity: Transitioning From Subsidies to Commercial Financing:By Dr. Alexander McPhail

n-stream tidal units convert the energy of tides and currents into power – a
type of hydropower which has operated successfully for decades. No matter what you call it -- wave, in-stream tidal, river current, or hydro turbines; or where it sits -- sitting on the river bottom or suspended from a barge -- the technology has proven itself. What has remained more elusive is the much-needed transition from

Subsidies to commercial financing. At the 5th Annual Small Hydro Conference in April 2013 in Vancouver, British Columba Chris Campbell of Marine Renewable, Canada, explained the two principal

Advantages of in-stream/tidal units: 1. Water has a high energy density -- the energy density from water is up to 50 times that of wind, and 100 times that of solar PV. For example, in a 2 knot current, each square meter of flow yields up to 500 watts of electricity. This means a wind turbine would require a 400 km per hour breeze to generate the same amount of power as the 1.5 MW Siemens generators in Strangford Laugh

(Described below) does in in a 5 knot current; and Predictability and reliability – the flow and timing ofTidal streams are much more predictable and reliable than either wind or solar.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene December 2018 Vol.13 No.6