Four Chinese cities are pursuing systems that turn "sludge," the organic matter left over from treated sewage, into energy. The systems can reduce emissions, energy consumption and water pollution all while saving money.
While droughts, floods and increasingly rapid groundwater depletion are cause for concern, this year presents unprecedented opportunities to pursue better water management. Director of WRI's Global Water program Betsy Otto explains.
Electricity for water treatment can be as much as one-third of a city's energy bill, and these "energy-water nexus" issues are becoming more and more concerning for businesses. A new GE and WRI report explores three innovative solutions for energy and water management.
Water scarcity challenges industries around the world. Global population growth and economic development suggest a future of increased demand, competition, and cost for limited freshwater supplies. Scarcer water, in turn, creates new challenges for energy supply because coal, oil, gas, and...
This bubble chart shows the water and energy intensity of various industries. The bubble size is proportional to revenue (2013 figures). Source: Bloomberg Terminal (accessed summer 2015).
Coal production and power generation has driven Ningxia’s economy over the past decade. However, as an extremely thirsty industry, coal has put more stress on the area’s water supply and heightened competition with other users, including farms and households. A WRI working paper recommends developing a coordinated system to ensure sustainable development of water and economy in Ningxia.
Conflict in the Middle East and Africa is driving a human tsunami that has sent 500,000 people into Europe this year in the worst migration crisis since World War II. Beyond the conflict, however, there is another contributing factor: water scarcity.
Deep roots, tree canopies and other "green" infrastructure can purify water, regulate stormwater runoff and reduce the impact of floods and droughts.
Solving the challenges of air and water pollution will require more than the adoption of top-down solutions or greener technology. It will require countries to address key governance challenges, like inaccessible information and a lack of public participation.