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Title: Mapping water consumption for energy production around the Pacific Rim

World energy demand is projected to increase by more than a third by 2035 and with it the use of water to extract and process fuels and generate electricity. Management of this energy-water nexus requires a clear understanding of the inter-related demands of these resources as well as their regional distribution. Toward this need the fresh water consumed for energy production was mapped for almost 12 000 watersheds distributed across the 21-economies comprising the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Fresh water consumption was estimated for ten different sectors including thermoelectric and hydroelectric power; energy extraction including coal, oil, natural gas, uranium and unconventional oil/gas; energy processing including oil and biofuels; and biofuel feedstock irrigation. These measures of water consumption were put in context by drawing comparison with published measures of water risk. In total 791 watersheds (32%) of the 2511 watersheds where energy related water consumption occurred were also characterized by high to extreme water risk, these watersheds were designated as being at energy-water risk. Furthermore, for six economies watersheds at energy-water risk represented half or more of all basins where energy related water consumption occurred, while four additional economies exceeded 30%.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. AIS (Akima Infrastructure Services), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326; 647457
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; energy-water Nexus; thermoelectric power; energy fuels; water risks; Asia-Pacific
OSTI Identifier: