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Water Resources: National Water-Energy Nexus and Climate Change

Technical Report

Author(s): Flores, F. ; Galaitsi, S. ; Yates, D.
Year: 2016

In the United Arab Emirates, water resource management is recognized as a serious emerging challenge to long-term sustainable development. Domestic, agricultural and industrial water consumption have increased at annual rates roughly consistent with the population growth rate, suggesting that little conservation or efficiency improvement is taking place.

Energy management has also been recognized as a serious challenge to long-term sustainable development. This is in large part due to the role of energy-intensive desalination activities that account for an increasing share of water supply. This suggests that reliance on desalination is as much of an energy challenge as it is a water challenge in the UAE.

To capture the interactions between water, energy and climate change, this paper applied a water-energy nexus framework by deploying SEI’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) and SEI’s Long Range Energy Alternatives and Planning (LEAP) systems. The overall goal was to better understand the water-energy nexus challenge in the UAE in the face of climate change and socioeconomic development.

WEAP and LEAP are integrated modeling tools that can track water and energy resources associated with extraction, production and consumption throughout the UAE’s economy. That includes seawater desalination, groundwater pumping and the transmission of water. This study implemented a scenario explore approach, and the results confirmed that green growth objectives will increase the resilience of the water-energy nexus in the UAE under climate change.

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