March 22 is World Water Day, the theme for 2014 is Water and Energy. 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. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
In 2014, the UN System – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality.
Objectives of World Water Day in 2014
•Raise awareness of the inter-linkages between water and energy
•Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to the nexus of water and energy
•Demonstrate, through case studies, to decision makers in the energy sector and the water domain that integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts
•Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Water and UN-Energy, can offer significant contributions
•Identify key stakeholders in the water-energy nexus and actively engaging them in further developing the water-energy linkages
•Contribute as relevant to the post-2015 discussions in relation to the water-energy nexus
World Water Day 2014 Key Messages
World Water Day is about what you will do in 2014 and beyond to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy.
1. Water requires energy and energy requires water
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution.
2. Supplies are limited and demand is increasing
Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.
3. Saving energy is saving water. Saving water is saving energy
Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another.
4. The “bottom billion” urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
5. Improving water and energy efficiency is imperative as are coordinated, coherent and concerted policies
Better understanding between the two sectors of the connections and effects on each other will improve coordination in energy and water planning, leading to reducing inefficiencies. Policy-makers, planners and practitioners can take steps to overcome the barriers that exist between their respective domains. Innovative and pragmatic national policies can lead to more efficient and cost effective provision of water and energy services.
Here is a summary of World Water Day events and resources:
Water Risk Tool: The Convergence of Business and Conservation
Water Stewardship Steps: Developing a Water Strategy
The 2014 World Water Development Report (fifth edition): Water and Energy
Infographic – Water Use in Hospitals Offices Schools Restaurants and Hospitality
World Water Day 2014 Advocacy Guide
Infographic – The Water Energy Nexus
Video – Water’s role in Post-2015 Development Agenda (UN-Water Chair Michel Jarraud)
Video – World Water Development Report
Report – Water Cooperation in Action: Approaches, Tools and Processes
Infographic – Where Water Comes from and How we Use it
World Water Week 2013: Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships
3 Verdantix Water Reports in Honor of World Water Week
Agricultural Costs of Climate Change, Land Degradation and Water Scarcity
The World’s Aquifers are Being Tapped Unsustainably
WBCSD Report: Building the Business case for Water Valuation
Water Infographic: The Water Cycle
Six Innovations for Better Water Management
Video – Water in the Anthropocene
New Water Quality Runoff Tool from the USDA
110 Water Conservation Tips for Businesses and Homes
Video – The Big Thirst the Business of Water
The Carbon Trust’s Water Standard
Worldwatch Institute: The Looming Threat of Water Scarcity
World Water Day 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation
Solutions to the World Water Crisis Requires International Cooperation
Solutions to Diminishing Ground Water
Reducing Water Use in the United States
Water Efficiency: Stopping the Flow from Leaky Pipes
How Much Water is there on Earth
Water as a Weapon of War
Alarming Facts About Water
Population Growth and Climate Change will Add to the World Water Crisis
Fracking: a Tragic Waste of Water
Video – The World’s First Carbon for Water Program
GE is Helping Nestle to Save Millions of Gallons of Water
Siemens Water Tool on Facebook
Banana Peels and Water Purification
Sustainable Water Purification Technology
The Business of Water Management Requires Collaboration
Air and Water in the OECD Report