Fields, who is also a Technical Committee member of the
“We are left with a lot of opportunities and many questions and a fair amount of work to do,” she said.
According to the
Fields said “network” was a more appropriate term than “nexus” because of the many linkages involved and the mutual dependence of energy and water. Energy affects water quality through discharges and effluence, as well as through its impact on the reliability of water supply and the cost of maintaining that supply, because energy is needed to pump water to consumers.
On the other hand, she said, water quality affects the ability to provide energy. As an example, she cited a hydropower plant in
Hence, she said, there is “a virtuous cycle. You reduce the need for water and you reduce the need for energy.”
She said that the challenge of managing water and energy in an integrated fashion was compounded by the extreme differences between the two. Those working in the two industries often spoke different “languages”, had different perspectives and a different way of looking at things.
Stressing the urgent water challenges facing nations, Dr.
“Good water management is important to [sustainable] growth and for building resilience to climate change,” he said. “There is no escape from the fact that the need and demand for finite and vulnerable water resources will continue to expand and so will competition for it.”
Nevertheless, GWP’s experience in
The WACDEP programme in
Takawira told IPS that in the
WACDEP created a buffer zone around the watershed by planting trees, and with the help of partners in the two countries provided alternative sources of energy for the people in the area, namely, more fuel-efficient stoves and biogas digesters.
He said his organisation realised that water management requires a broad-based approach to meet the vital needs a community may have.
“They still need the energy. We are learning that you have to go broader. That is why it is important to tackle water, food and energy issues together. What you want to do as water managers is ensure the watersheds are managed properly. [But] if you tell them to stop cutting trees, what are they going to cook with?”
He cited a second example showing the interconnection of water and energy. In
Takawira explained that intensive activity near the riverbank loosens the soil and causes siltation. Siltation in turn reduces the amount of water stored in river dams, which would prove detrimental during times of drought.
Moving people away from the river is important for dealing with floods also, he explained, since occupation of river banks tends to reduce the vegetation that slows down and absorbs flood waters.
To deal with the problem, WACDEP in
Takawira said WACDEP in
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