Let’s be Water Smart!

There is a growing and urgent need to address the complex challenges facing both the water and energy systems in countries around the world. These challenges are much more pronounced in developing and emerging economies, which have growing demand and limited resources to make the necessary advances at the pace required. However, developing an integrated approach to plan for and accommodate the growing, and often interlinked, demand for energy and water presents an opportunity to resolve these twin challenges in a more efficient and timely manner.

This thematic track will focus on the multiple connections between water and energy, including the use of water in energy production systems such as hydropower, offshore wind power, floating solar PV and biofuels, as well as the use of energy in the provision of water and sanitation services. It will take an integrated view of how to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), and how to address the challenges posed by existing institutional structures, policies, and procedures at the subnational, national, regional, and global levels.

As the co-chair of Track 2: Energy and Water Sustainability, I am particularly looking forward to discussions on horizon technologies that could disrupt the status quo and help communities, economies, regions, and possibly the world, move to a more sustainable and efficient means of accessing clean and reliable supplies of water and energy.

Session 2.1: Sustainable Energy for Water Supply and Sanitation

Tuesday, 18 June | 2.00 pm - 3.30 pm

As populations continue to grow rapidly across Asia, it is important to discuss how to improve the sustainability of irrigation while also improving overall agriculture production, in order to meet growing demand. Presenters in this session will focus on solar-based and grid powered irrigation and will highlight energy-saving mechanisms for groundwater pumping and water transmission, including efficient water use for irrigation.

Session 2.2: Sustainable Energy Use for Water: Focus on Irrigation

Tuesday, 18 June | 4.00 pm - 5.30 pm

Solar rooftop photovoltaics (PV), particularly solar home systems, are well established globally, including across rural communities in Asia. Some efforts to promote solar rooftop have been successful; however, others, especially in remote and island communities, face multiple technical problems, including lack of proper maintenance or equipment replacement. This session will highlight approaches to scaling up solar PV in rural communities and will explore micro-grid and mini-grid configurations to provide economies of scale while ensuring reliable and adequate energy supply to power productive uses beyond household energy requirements.

Session 2.3: Sustainable Water Use for Energy: Floating Solar Photovoltaics

Thursday, 20 June | 9.00 am - 10.30 am

Water-based energy generation systems such floating solar PV offer great opportunities for the clean energy transition in Asia. This session will include deliberations on how to scale up floating solar PV technologies supported through favorable policies and delivered at competitive prices, while minimizing environmental and social impacts.

Session 2.4: Sustainability Lessons in Hydropower, Offshore Wind, and Pacific Utilities

Thursday, 20 June | 11.00 am - 12.30 am

Presenters in this session will examine efforts to make hydropower more sustainable, including improved basin planning and management, and the study of environmental flows (EFlows) as a way of mitigating the effects of human developments on rivers and estuaries, and thus managing water resources for long-term sustainability. The session will also include discussion of how Asian countries can leverage their “second mover advantage” when developing their offshore wind energy potential by building on European experiences from early generation, and on efforts to improve the sustainability of state-owned utilities in the Pacific region.

The deliberations planned for the energy and water sustainability track at ACEF will be central to shaping the discourse and pathways for the sustainability transition, specifically in emerging economies. The diverse range of discussants will be presenting solutions for multiple geographies, drawing on multiple disciplines, to address a multitude of complex market design related challenges. The sessions will have a focus on innovative and actionable ideas which can be transformative if supported by the right policy, regulatory, and market levers.

Join in to add your voice to what promise to be very interesting deliberations on integrated solutions for two of the most critical sectors of any economy, energy and water.

Kanika Chawla
Energy and Water Sustainability Track Co-Chair,
Asia Clean Energy Forum