Big Businesses Address Water Energy Nexus

September 15, 2014 By Karen Henry

water-energy-manageLast week’s World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden, put a spotlight on the topic of the water energy nexus, the idea being that since water is energy intensive and energy is water intensive, finding a solution to optimize the water efficiency of energy production and the energy efficiency of water management should be integrated.

An article in The Guardian reports that while the voice of energy managers and power companies was largely absent, big businesses are taking up the issue. Volkswagen, for example, is seeking to reduce energy and water consumption in its vehicle production process through its Think Blue Factory program. Not only has the company found ways to reduce water consumption used to cool vehicle production equipment, it is also finding ways to improve water efficiency in other areas of its manufacturing process.

Coca-Cola will be joining the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, through which it hopes to replenish 6.9 cubic meters of water used in the production process. The replenished water can then be used for other things such as energy production.

The Guardian article argues that long-term integrated plans to address water and energy issues should be created that address current and future needs of utilities, businesses and communities in a region, without sacrificing their environmental health.

Image via Shutterstock.

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