Growing demand for limited water is pressuring energy producers to seek alternative approaches, according to UN Water. Launching its World Water Development 2014 report on 22 March, the agency warns that global water demand will increase by 55% by 2050, mainly due to manufacturing (up 400%), power generation (140%) and domestic use (140%).

Of global power generation 90% is water-intensive, UN Water says. But different generation methods have distinct water requirements. The IEA projects water withdrawals for energy production – 583bn cu ms in 2010, or 15% of global withdrawals – will rise 20% by 2035. But water consumption, 66bn cu ms in 2010, could rise by 85% “driven via a shift towards higher efficiency power plants with more advanced cooling systems (that reduce water withdrawals but increase consumption).” (CONTINUED - 502 WORDS)