Water-energy nexus in the UAE in relation to climate change and adaptation policy scenarios
Water-energy nexus in the United Arab Emirates in relation to climate change and adaptation policy scenarios
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.
Technology and Policy Program.
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Water and Energy systems that were once considered disparate, are coupled in many ways. Generation, transmission and distribution of each system relies on the other system. The interaction becomes significantly stronger in economies dependent on desalination for their water resources. One such country is the United Arab Emirates. The water-energy nexus faces serious challenges under climate change as cooling needs and outdoor water demands rise. This thesis models the impact of climate change on the water-energy nexus in the UAE. It explores a set of climate change adaptation policy scenarios and quantifies their respective economic, water and energy savings. Hence, it provides an analytical assessment of the nexus that can inform data-driven policy making. This thesis views the nexus through a qualitative lens and a quantitative lens. The qualitative piece presents the organizational mapping and structuring of the UAE institutions across the water-energy-climate nexus.It highlights gaps in cross-sectoral interactions that need to be overcome for a sustainable future. The second piece presented in this thesis is analytical in nature. It uses two specialized water and energy softwares called the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) and the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) and couples them together to model the nexus. The water-energy nexus model is tested for different individual and aggregate adaptation policy scenarios to assess a wide range of effects on the nexus. These scenarios are also run for six sub-regions within the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Western region, Dubai, Eastern region and Fujairah) to understand the underlying demand sectors driving the water-energy nexus in these sub-regions. The results of this extensive scenario analysis have informed policy recommendations for long-term planning of the water-energy nexus in the UAE.Important findings from this study include the huge savings potential from indoor consumption reduction (up to 1200 million cubic meters of water and 60 million gigajoules of electricity per year by 2060) and the need for irrigated land regulation (saves up to 700 million cubic meters of water and 5 million gigajoules of electricity per year by 2060) in the UAE. The sub-regional analysis highlights the need for sub-regionalized policy goals that govern regions based on their demand differences.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Technology and Policy Program, 2018Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society; Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Technology and Policy Program.