Water and Energy are intricately linked: whether carrying drinking water or generating hydroelectricity. Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
22 March (observed on Friday 21 March this year) marks the United Nations sponsored World Water Day, a day where we focus global attention on the importance of water and advocate for the sustainable management of our water resources.
This year’s theme is Water and Energy. Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires the use of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8 per cent of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
Australian aid is assisting countries in the Indo-Pacific region to increase water and energy security and to improve the efficient use of these resources. In the Mekong region, Australia is providing technical support for the adoption of higher environmental, social and disclosure standards for governments, financiers and companies investing in hydropower across the region. The adoption of standards will help ensure the rapid expansion of hydropower in the region boosts economic development as well as protecting river health, ecosystems and livelihoods of farmers and fisherfolk in the region.
In South Asia, Australia is working with the United Kingdom and Norwegian Governments, and the World Bank to improve management of the waters in the major river basins, including the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra. Such improvements will focus on hydropower development to address the demands of irrigation, industry and urban centres.