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.
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).