Third World Centre for Water Management

Meetings

International Seminar on Water and Energy

Sponsored by the Third World Centre for Water Management, International Hydropower Association, Helsinki University of Technology, and International Water Resources Association.

Production of water and generation of electrical energy are closely interrelated. Needs of both of these resources are increasingly steadily in most countries. Water sector is a major user of energy, and equally, no large-scale electricity generation is possible without water. In some countries like France, the electricity sector is the main user of water. Similarly, in a country like India, nearly one quarter of electricity is generated by hydropower, and the water sector is a consumer of similar percentage of electricity.

The water profession has basically ignored the water requirements for the energy sector, even though the electricity requirements of major developing countries like Brazil, China, India and Turkey have been increasing recently by 6 to 10 percent each year. If the two countries which have the highest economic growth rates in the world at present, China and India, are to continue with this progress, their energy requirements will increase as well. This will have significant implications for the water sector.

 The Seminar addressed issues like how the accelerating water requirements of the energy sector can be met efficiently in the future, role of hydropower to satisfy burgeoning electricity requirements of developing countries, geopolitical implications of energy security on the water sector, energy requirements of the water sector, building capacity to manage water-energy related issues in a holistic manner, and a host of other water-energy interrelationships that have not been adequately considered earlier.

The Seminar also considered how the accelerating water and energy requirements of the different countries of the world can be met in a timely, cost-effective, and socially-acceptable ways. It will objectively review and assess experiences in water and energy developments from different parts of the world, in terms of policies, programmes and projects, as well as financial and institutional arrangements. The economic, social and environmental ramifications of concurrent water development and electricity generation were discussed, as well the impacts of such developments on poverty alleviation, regional development, and income distribution. The investment requirements for such developments, especially for developing countries, were addressed, as where such investments could come from. The roles of governments, private sector and NGOs were examined.

Conference report

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