Extracting, delivering, and disposing water requires energy, and similarly, many processes for extracting and refining various fuel sources and producing electricity use water. This so-called 'water–energy nexus', is important to understand due to increasing energy demands and decreasing freshwater supplies in many areas. This paper performs a country-level quantitative assessment of this nexus in the MENA region. The results show a highly skewed coupling with a relatively weak dependence of energy systems on fresh water, but a strong dependence of water abstraction and production systems on energy. In case of Saudi Arabia it is estimated that up to 9% of the total annual electrical energy consumption may be attributed to ground water pumping and desalination. Other countries in the Arabian Gulf may be consuming 5–12% or more of total electricity consumption for desalination.
June 1, 2011
Water-Energy Nexus in Middle East and North Africa
From an abstract of an article in Energy Policy by associates of the Belfer Center at Harvard: