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The Energy-Water Nexus: Managing the Links between Energy and Water for a Sustainable Future

Location Brussels, Belgium
Date 19 - 21 January 2009
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

In recent months, COST has committed significant resources to support an initiative focused on the links between energy and water. Developed in collaboration with colleagues from Europe and around the world, it is an integrative and inter-disciplinary endeavour, incorporating scholars, policymakers and industry.

Water Energy Links

The rationale for the initiative lies in the fact it is not possible to optimise the operation of energy- and water-supply utilities in isolation from each other. Many large-scale energy-conversion processes consume water, and most bulk water-supply processes require the expenditure of significant amounts of energy. Thus, the links between energy and water, especially in the context of a dynamically changing climate, attends to a large part of the challenge of achieving sustainable development.

However, in existing policy frameworks, energy and water policies are developed largely in isolation from one another – a fragmentation which is seeing erroneous developments in both sectors. There is very little research undertaken into how even the most dominant relationships between energy and water can be accounted for, and incorporated into, international, national and regional policy development. Equally, there is little attention paid to where the uptake of more water and energy friendly technologies can be achieved, and how these might exacerbate the energy-water trade-off. There is a very real need for policy advice and tools on how the energy-water nexus can be accounted for, and managed, in water and energy policy decision-making.

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Co-chaired by

Karen Hussey (The Australian National University, BE)
Carine Petit (COST Office, BE)


Le Châtelain Hotel
Rue du Châtelain 17
B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 646 00 55
Fax +32 2 646 00 88
Hotel website

Contact Information

Ms Zuzana Vercinska
Conference Officer
COST Office
Avenue Louise 149
B-1050 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 533 38 05
Fax +32 2 533 38 90

Media contact

Ms Sally Horspool
PR and Communications Assistant
COST Office
Avenue Louise 149
B-1050 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 533 38 02
Fax +32 2 533 38 90