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.



Energy’s thirst for water

Many of the external pressures that drive the increasing demands for water (Section 2.1) also play influential roles in the growing demand for energy. Both are fundamentally driven by (and drivers of) social development and economic growth, and both are strongly influenced by economic forces, increasing living standards, technological development and government policy. One of the main differences, as detailed in Chapter 1, is that market forces have tended to play a much more important role with respect to energy sector development, whereas the management of water resources and the improvement of water-related services have historically been more of a socio-political prerogative.


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