Bloomberg News

Water and Energy Are ‘Inextricably Linked,’ Grace Report Says

January 14, 2013

Energy, water and food are “inextricably linked,” and imbalances between the three systems can cause adverse impacts to the economy and ecosystems, according to a report from the Grace Communications Foundation.

Examples of the linkage include power use in California and freshwater consumption in the U.S., according to an e-mailed statement today from the foundation. Moving drinking water and treating wastewater requires about 20 percent of California’s electricity, and a quarter of U.S. freshwater is effectively wasted when food is discarded, an amount that’s nearly equivalent to the volume of Lake Erie, the foundation said.

Its “Food, Water and Energy: Know the Nexus” report, released today, underscores public health, economic and environmental issues that arise when food, water and energy become unbalanced, and the foundation said the U.S. government lacks policies that account for the complex relationships between the three systems.

“We hope to stimulate a much broader conversation to help knock down the silo approach of isolated resource management,” Scott Cullen, executive director of the New York-based foundation, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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