Cross-cutting issues 4

Bridging the science-policy-people interface for energy and water

In the final declaration “The Future We Want” from world leaders at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012 the chapter on energy contained no reference to water, and the water chapter did not mention energy. Clearly, whilst a lot of information about the waterenergy linkages has been developed, awareness and knowledge have not transcended sectoral boundaries at the administrative and political levels.

The science-policy-people dialogue on water and energy needs to be improved based on increased “water and energy literacy” and improved efforts to communicate advances in science and good practice, and innovation in technology and management, to our political decision-makers. Meanwhile, political decision-makers need to set the agenda and framework for the science and technology to become policy relevant. In the developing countries in particular such efforts need to be associated with efforts to develop capacity at all levels to address these inter-linkages.