Photo shows a green landscape with a row of modern wind mills and solar panels to produce clean energy. A canal of water flows on the right side of the photo into the horizon,

Energy and Water

Exploring the interdependence of two critical resources

Two critical, interdependent resources

Global population who does not have access to safe drinking water 25%

Energy supply depends on water. Water supply depends on energy. The interdependency of water and energy is set to intensify in the coming years, with significant implications for both energy and water security. Each resource faces rising demands and constraints in many regions because of economic and population growth and climate change.

The world has a water problem, and the energy sector needs to contend with it.

Energy is vital to a well-functioning water sector

Energy is needed to extract water from lakes, rivers and oceans, to lift groundwater from aquifers and pump it through pipes and canals, to treat and deliver it to users. Almost all of the world’s water demand is met by groundwater and surface water, but water stress has led to an increase in the use of non-traditional water resources, including desalination and re-use. Energy demand for desalination nearly doubled in the past decade, it is posed to double again to 2030.

Energy demand for desalination in the Stated Policies Scenario, 1990-2030


Renewables can solve the energy sector's water problem