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Impacts of Climate Change on Our Water and Energy Systems: It’s Complicated

California Department of Water Resources The Dos Amigos Pumping Plant in Merced County and California Aqueduct are part of the California State Water Project, an energy-intensive public water project that distributes water throughout the state.

Newswise — As the planet continues to warm, the twin challenges of diminishing water supply and growing energy demand are intensifying. But because water and energy are inextricably linked, as we try to adapt to one challenge – say, by getting more water via desalination or water recycling – we may be worsening the other challenge by choosing energy-intensive processes.

So, in adapting to the consequences of climate change, how can we be sure that we aren’t making problems worse? Now, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Barbara have developed a science-based analytic framework to evaluate such complex connections between water and energy, and options for adaptations in response to an evolving climate.

Their study, “ Evaluating cross-sectoral impacts of climate change and adaptations on the energy-water nexus: A framework and California case study ,” was published recently in the open-access journal Environmental Research Letters.

“There have been many analyses on how climate […]

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