Introducing water and energy footprint considerations into decision making provides water managers an opportunity to drive better water and energy efficiency outcomes. In Australia severe water shortages, combined with community concerns with climate change, have driven water managers to look closer at the nexus between water and energy use. The two are closely related and will play an important role in the shape of the water industry in future in Australia and around the world.
The following paper provides a snapshot of the energy and water footprints associated with different elements of the water cycle in Australia. The objective is to provide a more holistic view of the nexus between energy and water. It is important to recognize however that focusing on energy and water efficiency alone is not enough. Environmental, economic and social issues must also be considered, otherwise it will lead to sub optimal outcomes and will fail to gain appropriate community support.