In Photos: Why Talk about Energy on World Water Day?


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The theme of this year’s #worldwaterday focuses on water and energy.  And for good reasons.

1. Globally, 1.3 billion people live without electricity, 768 million people lack access to potable water and 2.5 billion people are without sanitation (Source: IEA, 2012; WWAP, 2012).  Water and energy are critical for ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


2. To obtain water requires energy, and to produce energy requires water.  As the world’s population increases, demand for freshwater and energy will continue to grow.  This increase will present major challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.(Source: UN Water)


3. Many energy companies and power utilities around the world have already experienced water-related business impacts in the past five years. A warming planet and increasing demand for resources are expected to make matters worse. (Source: CDP Global Water Report 2013)



However, innovative solutions are already being developed to help address the world’s energy and water challenges.

4. A power plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico has developed a sustainable approach to using water for energy.  Instead of using fresh water, the plant buys water from a wastewater treatment plant to be used in its cooling towers, reducing groundwater extractions by 48 million cubic meters (equivalent to nearly 20,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools).


5. UAE has sought diversification of its energy mix away from gas and toward clean energy. Its government plans to build the world’s largest solar-powered desalination plant that will process more than 22 million gallons of potable water per day and generate 20 MW of electricity. (source: World Bank: Thirsty Energy Initiative)


6. Some countries are reducing fresh water dependency by exploring brackish and saline water options that enhance efficiency of power plants, and replacing old, inefficient power plants.



Stay connected on #worldwaterday and beyond @worldbankwater. And let’s keep talking about innovative solutions that work across sectors.

Related links:

Infographic: Thirsty Energy -- Energy and Water's Interdependence
World Bank Water
World Bank Flickr Collection
UN World Water Day
World Water Development Report


Join the Conversation

Rachel Monger
March 29, 2014

We are doing our best here in Tanzania! Our young daughters have set up a website ( with a Sponsored SODIS Shake and Water Walk to raise money and awareness of the water and sanitation problems they see here in Tanzania. Thanks!

Juan Garcia
March 25, 2014

This is a very illustrative recap of the world water day purpose. I hope everyone is trying to reduce its personal water footprint in order to save water and energy.

Alen Chacko
August 02, 2018

My new blog on water treatment and the need of water treatment

Andrea Lamberti
March 24, 2019

Nice to share the water day 22 march. Incredibly it falls in the day of the anniversary of my father Paolo who spent all of his academic and professional life teaching, learning and sharing the magic of waters flow.
From Africa to Philippines and Tierra del fuego and EU of course my dad had the opportunity to learn a lot from sharing...
I knew through him before and personally during 10 years of international projects, the ancestral power of social integration and participation that water resources need and do provide from the construction and the management of a simple well to a rural acueduct. On the other end lays the risk for human health and human exclusion when one of us needs to broke her feet to walk every single day for take home just a bucket of water.
Shall we try to use the teaching received from sharing water as a reminder to challenge social and environmental sustainability in all of our important projects?
Does it make any sense all the work that UN water realize for increase connections and bettering defecal condition if we are still not able to produce clear transparency on sustainability of our water services and other pay per use infrastructures neither within Europe?