Managing the water-energy nexus within a climate change context: lessons from the experience of Cuenca, Ecuador

Alberto Gianoli (Corresponding author), Rishi Bhatnagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The impact of climate change dynamics has a multiplicative effect when the interlinkages between water and energy are considered. This also applies to climate change co-benefits that derive from adaptation and mitigation initiatives implemented at the urban level and that address the water-energy nexus. A better understanding of the water-energy nexus is a precondition for integrated resource planning that optimizes the use of scarce resources. Against this background, the paper assesses the potential impact of water-energy saving technologies (WEST) on the water-energy nexus of Cuenca, Ecuador, focusing on how vulnerability to climate change may affect the water metabolic cycle of the urban area. Water-energy saving technologies such as rainwater harvesting, solar water heaters, and micro water turbines, reduce water-related energy consumption and mitigate greenhouse gases emissions; thereby illustrating the potential to generate climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits. The paper relies on primary data collected through interviews and a survey as well as secondary data in order to assess the extent to which water-energy saving technologies influence the water-energy nexus in Cuenca’s urban water metabolic cycle. Within the context of climate change, the paper develops a business-as-usual scenario and assesses how this is modified by the implementation of water-energy saving technologies
Original languageEnglish
Article number5918
Number of pages17
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Climate change co-benefits
  • Water-energy nexus
  • water-energy nexus
  • climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • climate change co-benefits


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