Industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), China, and the United States are already confronting supply risks where water and energy are interdependent. Learn from their examples and take steps to understand your own water and energy vulnerabilities as populations and resource demands grow. How will MENA ensure it will not have to rely on fossil fuels to convert seawater into drinking water? How will China meet increasing demand for electricity without straining already stressed water resources? How will the United States balance local water needs with shale gas production?
Necessity is the mother of invention. These regions that are confronting scarcity today also help illustrate emerging opportunities to innovate at the water-energy nexus. Companies should be looking at end-use efficiencies, water reuse, and energy recovery options. They can shift demand to alternative and distributed water supplies and water-efficient clean energy resources with new business models and partnerships. The report offers several ideas that challenge companies to think about creative approaches that include gender equity and stakeholder involvement; ambitious cross-sector goals and alliances to reduce water and energy consumption; and financial due diligence that recognizes the cost of greenhouse gas emissions and value of water.