Foreign Policy Blogs

The nexus of water and power generation: a growing concern

The Wall Street Journal last week highlighted the growing role that water shortages are playing in the decision about building power plants. A lack of water in 2001 reduced energy in Brazil, which relies on hyrdopower, questioning its reliance on water for such a high proportion of its energy needs. But its not just dams. Water is necessary to generate power coal and nuclear facilities. In the US, water use will become ever more contentious, especially as the west has turned more arid.

dude2The UK government’s chief scientist last week predicted that water use will increase by 30% and energy by 50% by 2030. Although his predictions are for global resources, the increasing demand for resources he discusses will add to the tensions over scarce resources to come in the US, and will make the citing of power facilities even more complicated.

A shortage of water could reduce economic activity in a number of areas. Reuters puts together a short synopsis.



David Abraham

David S Abraham has expertise in the analysis of geopolitical and economic risk as well in energy issues. At the White House Office of Management and Budget, his work included overseeing natural resource and foreign assistance programs, and serving on the interagency trade policy committee. In his previous role as a sovereign risk analyst with Lehman Brothers, subsequently, Barclays Capital, he advised the firm on geopolitical and economic risks in developing countries. He has also consulted for a variety of organizations including the United Nations Support Facility for Indonesian Recovery, RBS Sempra Commodities, ClearWater Initiative and a small German consultancy. David earned degrees from Boston College and The Fletcher School at Tufts University and proudly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His written work has appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in The New York Times, The Providence Journal, and He speaks Lithuanian and is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Area of Focus
Geopolitics; Economic Risk; Energy Issues