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The bioenergy and water nexus

The bioenergy and water nexus

Published by UNEP, IEA Bioenergy & Oko-Institut e.V
Website: www.unep.org
2011, 38pp, ISBN of full report 978 9 28073 157 6 (Pb), free to download

Bioenergy and water are inextricably linked and this publication, an excerpt of the larger report The bioenergy and water nexus, highlights key findings from the report and should be read in conjunction with the full report. The publication examines the linkages between bioenergy and water, highlighting risks and opportunities and offering policymakers an outlook on ways to address them and scientific information to support informed strategies and policies.

The two cover photographs, one an aerial picture of close-packed circular irrigation plots and the other of the desiccated floor of a lake or reservoir, summarises the choices and dilemmas of increasing water use to grow more bioenergy crops. Inescapably, water quantity and quality determine the extent to which bioenergy can contribute to the overall energy mix: "In a world already facing water stress, largely due to over 70 per cent of freshwater being consumed by the agricultural sector, bioenergy development is likely to add to this and hence increase the pressure."

Reviewing the current and future capacity of 'green', 'blue' and 'grey' water sources to meet demands and how to make impact assessments, which are the basis for decision-making, the publication goes on to discuss policy instruments and to make recommendations on taking a holistic approach, cooperating at watershed level, and designing and implementing water-related policy instruments.

Some 45 international experts contributed to this report, which is available as a downloadable pdf.

Date published: January 2012

 

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