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Balancing clean Water and Energy provision under changing climate and eXtremes

Objective

Providing clean water and energy simultaneously to a growing global population and under a changing climate is a major challenge. The demand for the two and their systemic interdependencies are particularly strong during droughts and heatwaves. Despite the recent growth in water-energy nexus studies, there is little fundamental understanding of the cascading effects and feedbacks between water and energy systems during extreme weather events. Because existing global model approaches mainly focus on whole-system optimisation and are based on coarse spatiotemporal water and energy system representations, we lack understanding on how water-energy system processes cascade in time and space under a changing climate and extremes. Yet such understanding is urgently needed so that we can balance clean water and energy provision in our changing world in which climate shocks are increasing.

In B-WEX, I will develop spatially explicit pathways that reveal how the provision of clean water and energy can be balanced under various water management and energy transition developments, including the feedbacks and cascading mechanisms under present to future droughts and heatwaves in regions worldwide.

With my team, I will build a novel global framework which will be the first to integrate high spatiotemporal resolution models of hydrology, water quality, water use and energy systems to estimate how water and energy system processes cascade in time and space. Together with key actors, we will also develop quantitative water management and energy transition (climate action) pathways, which we will then combine with our new framework, enabling us to estimate trade-offs between water and energy systems during present to future droughts and heatwaves. The B-WEX project will greatly deepen our understanding of the cascading effects and feedbacks between clean water and energy systems development that occur under changing climate and extremes, and including climate mitigation actions.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Net EU contribution
€ 1 500 000,00
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00