World Bank Initiative Moves Talk On Water Energy Nexus To Action

Thirsty energy is a catchy phrase that encompasses the water for energy aspect of the water-energy-food nexus. It's also the name of the World Bank's relatively new initiative that aims to help governments face a resource constrained future by implementing integrated planning methods. The methods will address the limitations and opportunities of both water and energy.

The Thirsty Energy initiative intends to do this through policy guidance and the development of technical tools as well as spreading general awareness about the linkages between water and energy. It aims to inform the private and public sector alike on the water intensive activities of energy production.

Most importantly, the initiative seeks to gain an understanding of the water-energy nexus that goes beyond traditional connections, says Diego Rodriguez, a Senior Economist in the World Bank's Water Unit. Ecosystem Marketplace's Genevieve Bennett spoke with him about Thirsty Energy and all it entails.

GB : What is the story of Thirsty Energy's genesis within the World Bank?

DR : Basically it's an initiative that started as an internal dialogue a couple of years ago. It comes more from the energy sector than from the water side but is trying to assess all forms of water use in energy processes. We want to really understand how different forms of energy and their technologies require water. There are many functions for water in energy productions. It isn't just an issue of quantity, but also of quality, for example. Changing temperatures of water can impact ecosystems.

So the water unit started a discussion with our energy colleagues to find real cases where water was constraining development in the energy sector.