Challenges at Energy-Water-Carbon Intersections
The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC), Canberra, Australia. 2010.
One of two new expert scientific reports released by the PMSEIC in December 2010. This food security paper was prepared by the PMSEIC Expert Working Group on Challenges at Energy-Water-Carbon Intersections.
From the Chief Scientist of Australia website:
The interplay between energy, water and carbon in human activities has been made more complex and more pressing by the need to mitigate climate change risk through reducing carbon emissions, whilst continuing to supply energy, water and nutritious and affordable food to a growing population.
"Our energy systems use water; water systems use energy; current energy generation is greenhouse gas (GHG)-intensive; and land uses for food, fibre and energy production all require water," said Professor Penny Sackett, Chief Scientist of Australia.
"Solutions in any one area must take into account implications for the others. Ideally solutions, whether on the scale of national governments, cities, or rural areas, would be developed integrally.
"For example, traditional desalination to increase urban water supplies may significantly add to GHG emissions, which can exacerbate climate change," Professor Sackett said.
A key recommendation of the PMSEIC energy-water-carbon report is to implement consistent principles for the accounting and pricing such as water, energy and carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
"Consistent accounting and pricing principles are required to ensure our finite resources are used effectively, efficiently, and in ways that are consistent with long-term sustainability and resilience.
"The implementation of integrated smart networks for energy and water, which is also recommended in the report, will go a long way in enabling the application of these principles," Professor Sackett remarked.
Another set of recommendations put forward in the report describes positive steps to achieve enhanced resilience and sustainability of our built environments and landscapes.
"Essentially what this means is that Australia, as a nation composed of individual communities linked by common challenges of water, energy and climate, should develop the ability to recover from shocks such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves, while adapting through learning and innovation, and undergoing transformation as required," Professor Sackett explained.
Report available for download below (PDF).
|Challenges at Energy-Water-Carbon Intersections - PMSEIC.pdf||4.07 MB|