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As President Xi Jinping has said, after unprecedented economic expansion since 1990, China now needs to embrace a new economic model that focuses more on the quality rather than the quantity of growth. Will the new 13th Five-Year Plan be able to deliver this?


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 electricity production can require massive amounts of freshwater. Yet many countries will need more energy for energy-intensive water treatment options, like seawater desalination, to meet their growing demand for water. This report illustrates these emerging risks and offers ideas for finding solutions at the water-energy nexus.

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WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer answers the question: Is it possible to enjoy rising levels of prosperity and also enjoy clean air, pure water, green spaces and uncongested, livable cities?

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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.


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