The United Nations World Water Development Report 2014

Volume I - Water and Energy; Volume II - Facing the Challenges, Includes Data and Indicators Annex

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Water and energy are closely interconnected and highly interdependent. Choices made and actions taken in one domain can greatly affect the other, positively or negatively. Trade-offs need to be managed to limit negative impacts and foster opportunities for synergy. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation both directly, as a number of the Millennium Development Goals depend on major improvements in access to water, sanitation, power and energy sources, and indirectly, as water and energy can be binding constraints on economic growth – the ultimate hope for widespread poverty reduction. The Report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend-related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy-makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.




In Africa the quest for water security has always been linked to the quest for energy security (African Water Vision 2025; UNECA, 2000). Energy security will be achieved only when society obtains access to dependable, modern energy services. Because most of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is predominantly rural (70%) (World Bank, n.d.a), achieving rural energy security is a prerequisite for equitable and sustainable development. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by low consumption of commercial energy and high dependence on traditional fuels. The majority of the rural population relies on traditional energy supplies, mainly unprocessed biomass, the burning of which causes significant pollution and health concerns (Section 3.1).


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