International Energy Agency’s 2012 WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK reports on key elements of the world-wide energy equation, ending with a hard look at the future of the world’s water resources. Analysis of global energy trajectories projects more than doubling the use of water by 2035. “(This amount is) equal to the residential water use of every person in the United States over three years, or 90 days’ discharge of the Mississippi River.”
Already-constrained global water resources will be impacted by expected increases in use of more water-intensive energy production methods for gas, oil, coal and biofuels. These effects could be compounded by the fact that much of the water used in these methods will not returned to its source.
Future planning for growth in the key areas of energy production, population and economic development will be essential to managing vulnerable global water resources. Implementation of fuel-free, low-water use clean, renewable energy technologies could be a bright part of the future’s picture.