University of Colorado Law Review
Water and energy are indivisibly linked and interwoven into every aspect of our culture and lifestyle. Large quantities of water are required to generate energy, and energy is required at all stages of the water supply process. Population growth and corresponding demand create significant community consequences including energy blackouts and water shortages. In order to help avoid these unintended consequences, appropriate planning must be done on the local, state, and federal level.
A critical first step in achieving better sustainability is understanding the quantifying relationship between energy and water. This relationship needs to be recognized by both the power and water sectors so they can coordinate and plan jointly. This added coordination and joint planning will allow communities to grow. This will also allow for energy generation to proceed in a continuous and sustainable way. Once information regarding the relationship between energy and water is gathered and understood, regional decisions can be made based on local conditions. A second step in achieving continuous sustainability is emphasis on education for policymakers, power producers, and consumers. Lastly, to ensure sustainability, an increase in conservation and regulation for both the power and water sectors must be implemented. Together, these steps will aid in ensuring long term sustainability of energy and water for communities.
Amy Hardberger, Powering the Tap Dry: Regulatory Alternatives for the Energy-Water Nexus, 84 U. Colo. L. Rev. 529 (2013).