Water & Energy

Water and energy use are strongly linked, as withdrawing, transporting and treating water requires large amounts of energy. Conversely, energy production and extraction can also require large amounts of water. Despite these relationships and interdependencies, energy and water resources are managed separately. A sustainable future demands fully integrated management of water and energy.


Water in the West develops tools and best management practices to effectively and efficiently integrate water and energy management. In 2014, Water in the West began a joint program with ReNUWit, an NSF-funded consortium focused on the nation's urban water infrastructure. This program evaluates strategies to encourage adoption of innovative technologies and management tools. The goal is to promote energy efficiency through water conservation, while reducing energy consumption in the treatment and use of water.

What's New

August 07, 2017

Leon Szeptycki, executive director of Stanford’s Water in the West program, discusses the challenges and responses to managing water in a changing climate.

July 05, 2016

California has been in a serious drought for years and its consequences are mounting from increased fires to lower water tables. With no end in sight, Margaret Bowman is looking to water-focused impact investing as a...

In Focus

Report: Tapping the Electricity Sector for Innovative, Multi-Purpose Water Projects

Stanford researchers apply lessons learned from the electricity sector to the water sector, uncovering specific tools that have been used to fund and implement distributed energy projects. Through this exploration they create a financing and governance framework, highlighting mechanism applicable to the water sector.

Download (PDF)

In the Media

September 28, 2017
Los Alamitos Patch

Leon Szeptycki and Newsha Ajami's op-ed on desalination plants in California quoted in the debate over the proposed seawater desalination facility in Orange County.

June 01, 2017
The Mercury News

Op-Ed by Water in the West Executive Director, Leon Szeptycki and Director of Urban Water Policy, Newsha Ajami on the how costal desalination plants are likely not the answer to California's water shortages. The potential amount of clean water produced by these plants is only a fraction of California's water budget.

Connect