The Urban Water–Energy Nexus: Building Resilience for Global Change in the Urban Century (book chapter)

Published in Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach, Eds. Hettiarachchi, Hiroshan, Ardakanian, Reza

Scott, C.A. 

Publication year 2016

School of Geography & Development, and Udall Center for Studies in Public PolicyThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3056


Resource attributes of water and energy along with the large infrastructure systems conventionally used to source, transport, and distribute them, plus recover waste, make water and energy the core resources to consider for urban planning in a nexus framework. Urbanization drives the nexus in unique ways due to (a) political/economic power and demographic concentration in cities, (b) reliance on infrastructure, (c) global change forces, and (d) unique urban social vulnerabilities. In the face of multiple global change uncertainties, cities are experiencing increasing pressures as a result of climate change and economic globalization. Resilience provides a guiding principle for multi-scalar urban planning and management to increase urban adaptive capacity. Research gaps and next steps in urban water&ndashenergy nexus research and practice are centered on more robust analysis of waste and resource recovery, including the opportunities and limits to efficiency gains.