The water-energy nexus at water supply and its implications on the integrated water and energy management.

Academic Article


  • Water and energy are highly interdependent in the modern world, and hence, it is important to understand their constantly changing and nonlinear interconnections to inform the integrated management of water and energy. In this study, a hydrologic model, a water systems model, and an energy model were developed and integrated into a system dynamics modeling framework. This framework was then applied to a water supply system in the northeast US to capture its water-energy interactions under a set of future population, climate, and system operation scenarios. A hydrologic model was first used to simulate the system's hydrologic inflows and outflows under temperature and precipitation changes on a weekly-basis. A water systems model that combines the hydrologic model and management rules (e.g., water release and transfer) was then developed to dynamically simulate the system's water storage and water head. Outputs from the water systems model were used in the energy model to estimate hydropower generation. It was found that critical water-energy synergies and tradeoffs exist, and there is a possibility for integrated water and energy management to achieve better outcomes. This analysis also shows the importance of a holistic understanding of the systems as a whole, which would allow utility managers to make proactive long-term management decisions. The modeling framework is generalizable to other water supply systems with hydropower generation capacities to inform the integrated management of water and energy resources.
  • Authors

  • Khalkhali, Masoumeh
  • Westphal, Kirk
  • Mo, Weiwei
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 15, 2018
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Climate change
  • Hydrologic modeling
  • Hydropower generation
  • System dynamics modeling
  • Water supply
  • Water-energy nexus
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 29913588
  • Start Page

  • 1257
  • End Page

  • 1267
  • Volume

  • 636