Societal opportunities and challenges 1
Demography and economy driving water and energy demands
Efficient production and use of energy and water is essential in the national context to ensure basic needs and development opportunities for people. However, both energy and water transcend national boundaries, physically through transboundary waters and power grids, and economically through regional economic cooperation. Cooperation between nations increasingly focuses on sharing benefits, rather than water per se, with both food and energy as the primary, water-dependent goods to share.
At the global level recurrent crises – energy, food, financial – illustrate systemic inter-dependence. Developing countries have serious challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and the close water, energy, and food interconnections need to be considered in formulating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to follow the MDGs from 2015.