53 Nat. Resources J. 117 (2013)
Coherence between Water and Energy Policies

handle is hein.journals/narj53 and id is 125 raw text is: CAREY W. KING, ASHLYNN S. STILLWELL,
KELLY M. TWOMEY & MICHAEL E. WEBBER*
Coherence Between Water and Energy
Policies
ABSTRACT
The global nexus between energy and water introduces cross-
sectoral vulnerabilities whereby water problems can become energy
problems and vice versa. This creates cross-cutting opportunities
where solutions for one sector might also be good for the other. How-
ever, the tradeoffs between prospective technical and policy solutions
are not obvious. To address that challenge, this article presents a
novel framework for analyzing coherence in technologies and policies
at the energy-water nexus. Challenges are laid out, examples of
mixes of technology and policies that can meet political objectives
relevant to the energy-water nexus are given, gaps that inhibit fu-
ture policy development are identified, and key findings are dis-
cussed. The analysis is presented through data specific to the United
States along with afew case studies from other countries for illustra-
tion, but the framework is relevant to policymakers and decision
makers globally. The article covers technical and environmental is-
sues linking water and energy in electricity generation, liquid fuels
production, and freshwater and wastewater treatment. It also ex-
plores the tradeoffs between specific technologies and policies rele-
vant to the energy-water nexus. Some policies and technologies
present solutions that achieve water and energy security, while
others do not. Institutional reforms that could help water and energy
policy to be more coherent, robust, and sustainable in the future are
identified, and case studies from different countries are included to
broaden the discussion. Finally, the article concludes by discussing
emerging issues and information gaps in the energy-water nexus.
I. INTRODUCTION
The nexus between water and energy is important and pervasive.
At the same time, constraints on energy and water resources are forcing
difficult policy choices. Humans are depleting fossil energy resources
* Carey W. King, Ph.D. (corresponding author) is a Research Associate at The
University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy;
Ashlynn S. Stillwell and Kelly M. Twomey are Graduate Research Assistants in The
University of Texas at Austin's Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental
Engineering; Michael E. Webber, Ph.D. (corresponding author) is Associate Professor of
Mechanical Engineering, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, Associate Director
of the Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy and Co-Director of the
Clean Energy Incubator at The University of Texas at Austin.
117

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