The water-energy nexus is the relationship between how much water is evaporated to generate and transmit energy, and how much energy it takes to collect, clean, move, store, and dispose of water.

The energy sector may be the largest water consumer among all industrial sectors. As long as there is a surplus of both water and energy we overlook the close relationship between them. When either water or energy are limited it becomes necessary for us to consider their interdependence. Most of us realize intuitively that all water operations will require energy. It is less obvious that all energy production and generation also require an extensive use of water; for the extraction, refining, and electric power generation. As a consequence, water and energy systems and operations have to be planned together.*


As an advocate for climate-appropriate technologies that use water, WCEC must work to manage not just energy efficiency, but water-use efficiency as well. To that end, WCEC works to answer these questions:

  • Is it possible to save more water in the long-run by saving energy, even if that savings comes at the cost of some water (ie: evaporative technology) initially?
  • Can we mitigate using fresh water in evaporative systems by treating or recycling greywater onsite?



WCEC Literature



External Resources



*Water-Energy Nexus description from Wikipedia. Original source here