Water and Energy Security Programme

         Water is an undeniable, un-substitutable, and powerful factor in everyone’s life, from sustaining individual lives to defining both economic and social policies and practices. As populations and demand expand while supplies decline, access to water will become increasingly difficult, raising the prospects for conflict over this precious resource.

The findings show that the scale of water use for energy production is tremendous. Some 580 billion cubic metres of freshwater are withdrawn for energy production every year. At about 15% of the world’s total water withdrawal, the figure is second only to agriculture. To put it another way, the energy sector withdraws water at approximately the same rate that water flows down the Ganges (in India) or Mississippi (in the United States) Rivers – some of the very largest in the world. It is clear that constraints on water can challenge the reliability of existing energy operations as well as the physical, economic and environmental viability of future projects. Water constraints can occur naturally, as in the case of droughts and heat waves, or be human-induced, as a result of growing competition among users or regulations that limit access to water.

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Water and Energy are the strategic factors  for development and welfare as well they are crucial for the regional stability. Water and energy are closely interconnected and highly interdependent. Both Water and Energy are the key elements to assure food to a growing population, to provide sanitation services to the communities, to sustain the economic growth of a country.

Water scarcity and unmet energy demands represent worldwide potential sources of conflicts and tension. At the same time, these issues offer a concrete ground for facilitating inter-states dialogues where there are political obstacles and conflicts. They also represent an area of positive and cooperative engagement for the international community governments, NGOs, as well as global civil society.

Since 1995 the W&E Security Program brought attention to the growing concerns in water and energy security and the risks for increased conflict. According to its mission, the W&E Sec. Programme began the process to seek conflict-sensitive and preventive solutions that are of strategic and economic interest to all parties involved. 

The W&S  Security Program is a leader in understanding the shifting global and energy and water landscapes. Forward-thinking water & energy policy should  balance economic, environmental, and security priorities against market and geopolitical uncertainties. Through its collaboration with leaders in industry, government, academia, and nonprofits, the W&E Security Program identifies new trends and helps to illuminate the opportunities and challenges that we expect to confront policymakers and industry players in the coming years.

Team Leader – Dr. Rossella Monti
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