The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities

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The Department of Energy's Water-Energy Tech Team has prepared a new report -- The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities -- that frames an integrated challenge and opportunity space around the water-energy nexus for the Department and its partners, laying the foundation for future efforts.

When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities. Hurricane Sandy demonstrated 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 Department is working with partners -- including other federal agencies, state and local governments, members of Congress, foreign governments, tribal governments, private industry, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and citizens -- to pursue research, development, and deployment of key technologies; sharing of robust datasets; integration of models to inform decision-making; harmonization of policies where warranted; and enhanced public dialogue.