Review Article | Published:

Greenhouse-gas emissions from energy use in the water sector

Nature Climate Change volume 1, pages 210219 (2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

Water management faces great challenges over the coming decades. Pressures include stricter water-quality standards, increasing demand for water and the need to adapt to climate change, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The processes of abstraction, conveyance and treatment of fresh water and wastewater all demand energy. Energy use in the water sector is growing, yet its importance is under-recognized, and gaps remain in our knowledge. Here we define the need to integrate energy use further into water resource management and identify opportunities for the water sector to understand and describe more effectively its role in greenhouse-gas emissions.

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Acknowledgements

The review was conducted as part of a project funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: ADMIT—Harmonising adaptation and mitigation for agriculture and water in China (Grant No. D00383, www.sainonline.org). D.C. was partly supported through a Department for International Development Senior Research Fellow's position and a visiting fellowship to the Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. We thank A. Milman for providing additional literature for this review. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent official policy of DEFRA, DFID or the UK Government.

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Affiliations

  1. School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    • Sabrina G. S. A. Rothausen
    •  & Declan Conway
  2. UEA Water Security Research Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    • Sabrina G. S. A. Rothausen
  3. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    • Declan Conway
  4. Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Visiting Fellow

    • Declan Conway

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Sabrina G. S. A. Rothausen or Declan Conway.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1147

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