Several current trends are increasing the urgency to address the energy-water nexus in an integrated way, both in the U.S. and China. Precipitation and temperature patterns are undergoing rapid change with increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events. Population growth and regional migration trends indicate that the population in certain arid areas (such as the Southwest United States) is likely to continue to increase, further impacting the management of both energy and water systems. The introduction of new technologies in the energy and water domains could shift water and energy demands. Moreover, policy developments addressing water impacts of energy production are introducing additional complexities for decision making. As both the challenges and opportunities at the energy-water nexus within the U.S. are mirrored in China, productive research collaboration is expected to benefit both nations.
The CERC Water and Energy Technologies Consortium (CERC WET) aims to build and transfer a foundation of knowledge, technologies, human capabilities, and relationships that position the United States, in particular with relevant industries, non-profits, and our research peers in China, to thrive in a future with constrained energy and water resources in a changing global climate.
CERC WET focuses its research on the following topic areas: Water Use Reduction at Thermoelectric Plants; Treatment & Management of Non-Traditional Waters; Improving Sustainable Hydropower Design and Operation; Climate Impact Modeling, Methods, and Scenarios to Support Improved Energy and Water Systems Understanding; and Data and Analysis to Inform Planning, Policy, and Other Decisions. Dr. Ashok Gadgil from University of California, Berkeley leads the U.S. consortium, and Liu He, from RIPED leads the Chinese consortium.
The U.S. and Chinese consortia (collectively, CERC WET) have agreed to a Joint Work Plan (Bilingual PDF) to significantly advance water and energy technologies, in both China and the United States. U.S. and Chinese officials simultaneously agreed to a Technology Management Plan (TMP) (Bilingual PDF) regarding intellectual property rights. The Agreement (English PDF Chinese PDF) protects American and Chinese research, scientists, and engineers by ensuring their intellectual property rights for the technology they create.
For more details go to the Water and Energy Technologies Consortium website.