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The Australian National University

ANU-COST Collaboration in the Energy-Water Nexus

The Energy-Water Nexus: Managing the Links between Energy and Water for a Sustainable Future ANU-COST Collaborative Initiative


In recent months, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) and The Australian National University (ANU) have committed significant resources to support an initiative focused on the links between energy and water. Developed in collaboration with colleagues from Europe and around the world, it is an integrative and interdisciplinary endeavour, incorporating scholars, policymakers and industry.

The Initiative has supported a series of Exploratory Workshops to examine the links between water and energy, in four key areas:

  • Energy consumption in the urban water supply chain
  • Water demands in the energy sector (excluding biomass for energy, which will be captured in the next cluster)
  • Water and energy for food security
  • Water and energy demands in other industrial sectors i.e. chemical production, paper, transport, mining, beverages...

The objective of the COST initiative is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the links within and between these four clusters, the potential trade-offs between energy and water security, and, crucially, how policy-makers and government decision-makers can best manage these links in future policies.

To date, two Exploratory Workshops have been convened. The first, in January 2009, was a larger workshop of 50 participants from various disciplines, industries and government agencies, with the aim of "unpacking" the major links between water and energy and identifying the major research initiatives in the field both within Europe, and internationally.

The second workshop, in June 2009, was a smaller, invitation-only workshop convened with the aim of publishing 10-12 complementary and international case studies, which, together, highlight the complexity of energy-water interactions and which identify where better integrated policy and management strategies and solutions are needed or available.

Details on the COST-ANU Water-Energy project and the outputs of this initiative.


For further details on this initiative, please contact Dr Karen Hussey at:

University partner:



COST is an intergovernmental European framework for international cooperation between nationally funded research activities. COST creates scientific networks and enables scientists to collaborate in a wide spectrum of activities in research and technology. COST Activities are administered by the COST Office.


Updated:  7 March 2011/Responsible Officer:  ANUWI Co-Chair /Page Contact:  Crawford Webmaster