CUED Publications database

Managing water resources and their connection to land and energy

Curmi, E and Fenner, RA and Allwood, J and Richards, K and Bojelcj, B and Kopec, G Managing water resources and their connection to land and energy. In: 7t international Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environmental Systems, 2012-7-1 to 2012-7-7, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. (Unpublished)

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Effective management is a key to ensuring the current and future sustainability of land, water and energy resources. Identifying the complexities of such management is not an easy task, especially since past studies have focussed on studying these resources in isolation from one another. However, with rapid population growth and an increase in the awareness of a potential change in climatic conditions that may affect the demand for and supply of food, water and energy, there has been a growing need to integrate the planning decisions relating to these three resources. The paper shows the visualisation of linked resources by drawing a set of interconnected Sankey diagrams for energy, water and land. These track the changes from basic resource (e.g. coal, surface water, groundwater and cropland) through transformations (e.g. fuel refining and desalination) to final services (e.g. sustenance, hygiene and transportation). The focus here is on the water analysis aspects of the tool, which uses California as a detailed case study. The movement of water in California is traced from its source to its services by mapping the different transformations of water from when it becomes available, through its use, to further treatment, to final sinks (including recycling and reuse of that resource). The connections that water has with energy and land resources for the state of California are highlighted. This includes the amount of energy used to pump and treat water, and the amount of water used for energy production and the land resources which create a water demand to produce crops for food. By mapping water in this way, policy-makers and resource managers can more easily understand the competing uses of water (environment, agriculture and urban use) through the identification of the services it delivers (e.g. sanitation, agriculture, landscaping), the potential opportunities for improving the management of the resource (e.g. building new desalination plants, reducing the demand for services), and the connections with other resources which are often overlooked in a traditional sector-based management strategy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:57
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:37