[13] Arroyo, E, Lopez, C, Maurin, F, Giampietro, M “Exploring the nexus between water and energy in Brazil with a focus on the quantitative analysis of electricity production” 2nd International, Conference on Energy & Environment (ICEE), 18-19 June 2015, Guimarães, Portugal. pp 439-450


This paper explores the nexus between water use and energy supply in Brazil by comparing the “requirements” of water inputs of different energy systems to the quantities of energy carriers they generate. An effective quantitative analysis of the water requirements of the energy sector requires an epistemological discussion of how to account for its “water inputs”. In fact, different energy systems “use” water differently and this heterogeneity of water uses is not covered by the traditional classifications of water uses. In order to handle the existing ambiguity in the accounting of water we use an innovative method called the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) for dealing with the water-energy nexus. The MuSIASEM approach provides an integrated set of categories of accounting that can be used for the calculation of an Environmental Impact Matrix, avoiding potential confusion. In order to make possible the operationalization of this information into an Environmental Impact Matrix (to gain policy relevance), the information is: (i) organized in relation to different types of water use in different types of power plants (the expected characteristics of each type of technology); (ii) scaled in relation to the actual use in Brazil (how much of each type is in use).

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