Moving towards a better management of water for energy and energy for water Water and energy, two fast-growing sectors, are essential to each other. At the global level, the energy sector is, after agriculture, the second largest user of water : hydroelectric power generation, cooling of thermal power plants, extracting and refining oil and gas products, etc. In turn, energy is essential to the entire water use cycle, from extraction to transportation and treatment. Despite their close interdependence, the international community does not yet have a framework for the shared analysis of interactions between energy and water. Better integration of energy and water management policies would be required in situations of vulnerability brought about by this interdependence.
In this context, the members of the French Water Partnership are working on an integrated approach for the water and energy sectors that is compatible with sustainable development. Their recommendations are as follows :
• Promote coherence between water and energy policies through adequate planning and the creation of governance bodies at the basin scale by involving all actors and integrating issues related to the supply of drinking water, sanitation and energy as well as those related to the environment, agriculture and tourism ;
• In both sectors, promote a rational approach to water use (in terms of quantity and quality) for the energy sector (water footprint) and a rational approach to energy use for the water services sector (energy efficiency) through the use of strict monitoring mechanisms ;
• Develop sustainable hydropower that is inclusive of different uses and allows for optimizing these uses in a concerted fashion.