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Climate & Nature

Exploring energy options for water production and climate resilience: challenges and opportunities

Tuesday, 23 May 2023
13:30 — 15:00
Plenary Room
USAID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance 2 Activity (WASH-FIN 2) and Aqua Publica Europea (APE)

Water utilities around the world are facing unprecedented challenges as climate change worsens, resulting in more frequent and severe droughts, floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events. At the same time, the current global energy crisis has further weakened world economies. In particular, the energy crisis has significant ramifications for water utilities, as they require energy for both drinking water production and waste treatment processes. In turn, energy production also uses water, in varying proportions depending on the type of energy generated. The close link between water and energy is therefore evident, and this nexus is made even more apparent by the need to shift towards renewable energy sources. On the one hand, the water sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and should contribute to efforts towards carbon neutrality; on the other hand, improving energy efficiency, recovering energy from water and wastewater processes, and transitioning to renewable energy sources will improve cost recovery and allow service providers to improve service quality and reach.

From a water sector perspective, the energy issue appears to present three main challenges: 1) limited access to finance to support investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation, 2) governance conditions that sometimes do not ensure effective synergies with the energy sector, and 3) knowledge and capacity gap when it comes to effective technical solutions given that water operators’ primary job is not to produce energy. While these challenges are common across many geographies, the concrete practical solutions to address them vary considerably from context to context depending on the local level of infrastructure, access to resources and governance arrangements.

This session will reflect on which challenges are common and which are context-specific, and explore the role of actors at different levels to improve the resilience and sustainability of water through an energy lens.

— Session Programme
Overall Session Moderators: David Favazza (USAID WASH-FIN 2) and Marine Boulard (Aqua Publica Europea)    Opening presentation (10 min) – Setting the scene on the water-energy nexus Speaker: Dr. Irene Ngunjiri, Director of the Strathmore University Water Governance and Innovation Hub   Presentations of concrete on-the-ground projects (30 min [15 min each x 2])
  1. Solar solutions for improved water service provision: WASH-FIN Kenya and Zambia case studies
Speaker: Sumbi Shimwambwa, Performance Improvement Specialist, USAID WASH-FIN 2
  1. Energy efficiency and recovery on wastewater treatment plants: Presentation of a Jordanian WOP
Speakers: Yazan Dabas, Head of the wastewater treatment plant section, Miyahuna Water Company & Jörg Oppermann, Process Engineer for wastewater treatment plants, hanseWasser Bremen   Moderated panel discussion (30 min) Moderator: Dr. Irene Ngunjiri, Director of the Strathmore University Water Governance and Innovation Hub
  • Harald Schölzel, Lead Water Specialist, European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Eng. Kelvin Chitumbo, Director of Zambia’s national regulator, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO)
  • Arnd Wendland, Head of Division for water production and wastewater treatment, Hamburg Wasser
  Audience Q&A (20 min)
  • Presentation speakers will be invited back to the stage along with panellists to answer questions from the audience.