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About this Guide
Find resources for research on water-energy topics here. Included are books and other materials from the University Library collection, select licensed online resources available to University of Illinois students staff and faculty, as well as many freely available web resources. This guide was originally developed to promote World Water Day 2014 and accompanied a display of library materials and research posters in the Prairie Research Institute Library.
Water & Energy are Linked
The main purpose of the Water & Energy theme for World Water Day 2014 is to highlight the fact that water and energy resources are closely linked. Water is used in hydroelectric power generation, it is used to extract and process fossil fuels, it is used in electric power generation, and it is used to irrigate biofuel crops. Energy is used to obtain and purify water for municipal and industrial use, as well as to treat industrial and municipal wastewater. Both resources are critical, and the environmental and economic impacts of their extraction and use are linked. Learn more about the many connections between water and energy from the links below and other resources presented in this guide.
Energy and Water: The Vital Link for a Sustainable Future
Produced by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Founded in 1991, SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, climate change and water, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics.
Energy-Water Nexus (Government Accounting Office)
"Understanding and consideration of the link between energy and water will be essential to ensuring a sustainable supply of each."
Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector’s Energy Use (Congressional Research Service)
"There is growing recognition that “saving water saves energy.” Energy efficiency initiatives offer opportunities for delivering significant water savings, and likewise, water efficiency initiatives offer opportunities for delivering
significant energy savings." (January 3, 2014)
Hydroelectric Power Water Use
"Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable source of energy."
Overview of the Water-Energy Nexus in the United States (National Conference of State Legislatures)
"...resource managers and lawmakers across the country are beginning to take a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the management of water and energy."
Principles for an Energy Water Future (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency_
EPA encourages all stakeholders – including government, utilities, private companies and ratepayers – to consider these principles and incorporate them into their work.
The Carbon Footprint of Water (The River Network)
The authors estimate that U.S. water-related energy use is at least 521 million MWh a year—equivalent to 13% of the nation’s electricity consumption.
The Politics of Water
From Global Currents, blog of the Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois.
Thirsty Energy: Making the Energy-Water Nexus Work For Us (World Bank)
"...currently, 60% of coal power plants in the U.S. are experiencing water stress; hydropower is threatened due to more frequent and severe droughts; and energy infrastructure is endangered by water variability due to climate change."
Water for Energy (International Energy Agency)
Excerpt from their IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012, showing comparative water consumption by energy source.
Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World (Union of Concerned Scientists)
"Many aging, water-intensive power plants are nearing the end of their lives. The choices we make to replace them will determine the water and climate implications of our electricity system for decades to come."