The two organisations will work together to build an integrated programme in the run up to the 7th World Water Forum, to be staged in Daegu, Korea in April 2015, and to ensure that the water-energy nexus is highlighted at the next World Energy Congress, to be held in Istanbul in 2016.

World Water Council president Benedito Braga said: “The World Water Council has been working on the water and energy issue since the 6th World Water Forum, and this new collaboration will give us the means to push forward and encourage harmonized policies.

“Water needs energy and energy needs water. Understanding the interaction between these two vital elements is paramount to developing a water secure future,” added Braga.

According to the two organisations, today’s announcement takes their existing collaboration to the next level and will serve to further analyse and comprehend water and energy interactions.

World Energy Council chair Marie-José Nadeau said: “The energy-water nexus is a real issue for business and governments alike. We need to mobilise the public and private sectors to provide solutions to this growing problem and events such as the World Water Day [22 March] are useful milestones in this process.”

Last week, United Nations (UN) leaders highlighted the risks associated with the growing relationship between water and energy through its 2014 World Water Development report.

The report stresses the need for policies and regulatory frameworks that recognise and integrate approaches to water and energy priorities.

Highlighting the issue further, The World Bank launched an initiative in February to help countries mitigate the impact of water scarcity on energy security, arguing that water shortages are now slowing down global energy production.

Last month, researchers at Newcastle University called on UK policymakers to give greater consideration of water usage in the energy sector, as this will help minimise the risk of power stations having to reduce production or, in extreme scenarios, shut down altogether if water shortages mean they cannot remain operational.

Leigh Stringer

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