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Water/energy nexus

Oilfield Technology,

The US DOE has released a new report that looks at the opportunity and challenges around the water/energy nexus for the DOE and its partners and lays the foundation for future efforts.

Present day water and energy systems are tightly intertwined. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract, convey, and deliver water of appropriate quality for diverse human uses.

Recent developments have focused national attention on these connections. When severe drought affected over a third of the US in 2013, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities. Hurricane Sandy was a clear demonstration of the compounding ramifications of vital water infrastructure losing power. The recent boom in domestic unconventional oil and gas development has added complexity to the national dialogue on the relationship between energy and water resources.

The report

‘Water-Energy Nexus: Challenge and Opportunities’ lays out an array of technical and operational challenges across the water/energy nexus at local, regional and national scales. The report also notes that water scarcity, variability, and uncertainty are becoming more prominent, potentially leading to vulnerabilities of the US energy system. System evolution brought on by climate change, population growth, technological advances, and policy developments are increasing the urgency for informed action. The US DOE believes it is uniquely suited to meet a key national need for data driven and empirical solutions to address these challenges. The DOE’s long standing technology and modelling research and development positions the department to guide, research, demonstration and deployment, as well as enhance and integrate data and models to better inform researchers, decision makers, and the public.

The full report can be found here.

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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