01.09.2011 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

UNESCO-Government of Nepal workshop focuses on critical water/energy link

©UNESCO/Kai Weise -River water, one of the sources of energy

More effective development programmes to establish better linkages between the energy and water sectors in developing countries will be discussed at a workshop on “Water and Energy Nexus” from 5 to 7 September 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The event has been jointly organized by the Government of Nepal’s Department of Electricity Development and the Nepal National Committee for UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.

Fifty global experts, including specialists from Nepal, will discuss normative, strategic and operational issues related to critical links between water and energy. They will also outline new avenues the hydrological science sector can play in providing meaningful solutions to address the ongoing challenges.

Nepal’s former Minister of Science and Technology, Ganesh Shah, who is one of the event organizers, said: “I am certain that the workshop will help to develop a better understanding of the normative, strategic and operational implications for better harnessing the potentials of the nexus between <a name="_GoBack"></a>water and energy nexus so that developing countries like Nepal can better benefit from available water resources.”

The event organizers are confident that participants will agree upon an agenda for effective water and energy resources management in the region.

Bhanu Neupane, a science specialist at the UNESO Office in New Delhi, said: “UNESCO looks forward to suggestions on how to better identify and then promote international hydrological research, education and capacity development to strengthen the different dimensions of the linkages between water and energy. We are ready to help to incorporate the agreed agenda into phase VIII of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.”

Energy needs range from basic survival (cooking, heating etc.,); to national prosperity (security, industry, transport and communications); to regional and global issues (geopolitics, climate change).

Although both water and energy issues rank high on the development agenda, the two subjects are usually treated separately and the connection between them is often overlooked.  Any policy on water resource management must address the collective issue of both water and energy. This requires informed decision making and careful analysis of how best the available water resources can be utilized for development.    

The availability of both energy and water is essential for human survival and national prosperity. However, in the future, the question of access to these two vital resources may transcend national decision making.

In the globalised world of the 21st century, security of supply of energy and water will require governance regimes sensitive to environmental and social, as well as political and economic dimensions.

In many cases where water/energy resource availability and the environmental and social consequences of using both are inter-related, a strong case can be made for policies and regulations that address water and energy simultaneously. 

Understanding the water/energy nexus in any given country, and particularly the role played by hydropower, depends on the relative availability or relative scarcity of water and energy.

An interrelated issue is the role of the hydrological science and hydrological community, which has a responsibility to address complexities associated with the water and energy nexus. 

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. The programme, tailored to Member States’ needs, is implemented in six-year phases – allowing it to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

IHP’s present phase VII “Water Dependencies: Systems under Stress and Societal Responses” (2008-2013) promotes and leads international hydrological research, facilitates education and capacity development and enhances governance in water resources management.

For further information, please contact:

Department of Electricity Development (GON) email: mabg(at)wlink.com.np  nabinkr@yahoo.com

UNESCO Office in New Delhi email: b.neupane(at)unesco.org

Nepal National Committee for IHP of UNESCO email: ihpnepal(at)gmail.com  




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