Pre-Congress Workshop

International Workshop
Clean Energy and Water: an Assessment of Services for Local Adaptation to Climate Change

23-24 September (by invitation only)



The IDRC Climate Change and Water (CCW) program has launched an project  called “Clean Energy and Water: an Assessment of Services for Local Adaptation to Climate Change” that supports high-quality research aiming to better understand the different physical and socio-economic factors that influence intertwined use of and access to energy and water in developing countries.

The overall goal is to analyze the way clean energy and water services can be combined and improved to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities to climate variability and change, and to enable equitable access and robustness of those services under growing conditions of uncertainty.

While encouraging the use of clean energy sources, IDRC has identified a need to think critically about the socio-economic and environmental effects of energy needs on water resources because increasing access to energy can easily lead to unsustainable water use (and vice versa) and other negative impacts. The entry point of the project recognizes that access to energy and water resources are often two sides of the same coin – both of which are crucial for building adaptive capacity to changes in climate.

Status of the project

Four research teams are involved in this initiative and are producing in-depth reports and case studies in LAC countries, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa.

  • Fundacion Bariloche, Argentina: focusing on an assessment of alternative energy options for agricultural water use in regions of increasing water scarcity in northern Patagonia. With case studies from photovoltaic pumping from deep wells in Catamarca, pumping with low power wind turbines in Comahue-Neuquen, grid connected high-power turbines for irrigation in La Rioja.
  • The Clean Energy Incubator, University of Texas at Austin, USA: focusing on an assessment of water and energy services in Mexico, with case studies from Mexico City, Southern Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas Regions) and the Rio Sonora Watershed in Baja California, Northern Mexico.
  • The Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa: focusing on an assessment of services and projects providing clean energy technologies for enhanced water supply in Southern Africa.with Case studies from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Mozambique.
  • The NGO AFREPREN/FWD in Nairobi, Kenya: focusing on an assessment of the use of renewable energy technologies for agricultural and domestic water pumping, and of the role of policies to increase water security at the community level in the Greater Horn of Africa With case studies from Kenya and Tanzania.

The Workshop

With the present workshop, IDRC plans to present and discuss the findings of the third draft of the research reports and the related case studies. The workshop will share the same focus themes of the exploratory project, namely:

  • The analysis of factors and costs limiting or promoting decentralized renewable energy technologies for water services in areas/regions at climatic risk or under water stress;
  • The role of policies, regulations knowledge tools and technologies in enhancing efficiency and equity of water & energy services, security of provisioning, and adaptive capacities of communities;
  • The socio economic consequences and environmental impacts, in particular on water resources, of enhanced use of renewable energy for water services by communities.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Enhanced understanding on key knowledge and research gaps identified by the workshop participants and by the IDRC CCW program initiative;
  2. Emergence of specific suggestions for new partnerships and research opportunities in the regions under assessment or in regions facing comparable research problems.
  3. Outline of a Research Agenda, with priorities, for the interface of climate change adaptation, renewable energy technologies and water services

Round table discussions – Questions

The closing each of the two days will be dedicated to intended outcomes 2 & 3. Participants will be asked to react in hands-on sessions covering questions such as:

  • What are the topics/issues that emerge more clearly from the reports and that the CCW program initiative could focus its attention on in the immediate future?
  • What has been overlooked in the reports? Are there other gaps/challenges that can be turned into research opportunities?
  • What are the key research players for the CCW program initiative to interact with, on the basis of the set of research questions more clearly emerging from the reports? Where do the best conditions for this interactions lie?
  • Are there specific windows of opportunity to be seized that call for more research on the water-energy nexus in the regions considered during the workshop?

The agenda can be downloaded here (updated September 19)


List of Participants

List of Participants  (updated September 19)

Workshop Coordinator

Michele Leone

Senior Program Officer, Climate Change and Water, IDRC

Presentations / Presentaciones


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