Research on the Energy-Water Nexus recognizes the mutual interdependence of water and energy systems. Water is an integral part of extracting energy fuels, chemical processing, energy and food production, and power generation. Energy is essential for water extraction, transportation, and utilization, including wastewater treatment.
Significant challenges associated with the Water-Energy Nexus are aging infrastructure, water and energy use policies, environmental regulations, new energy market dynamics, climate change concerns, and renewable energy technologies. A broad range of crosscutting technologies and novel approaches are needed to provide sustainable energy-power generation without jeopardizing energy-water supplies and resources. Current areas of research include:
- Energy-water issues related to electric power generation
- Marine-hydrokinetic power generation to harness ocean wave and tidal energy
- Impaired water treatment and management including low-energy, low-cost options for water recovery and reuse
- Issues related to chemical processes and other energy-water-intensive operations