Energy and water

Exploring the interdependence of two critical resources

Energy supply depends on water. Water supply depends on energy. The interdependency of water and energy is set to intensify in the coming years, with significant implications for both energy and water security. Each resource faces rising demands and constraints in many regions as a consequence of economic and population growth and climate change.

Key findings

Share of population without access to electricity or water in rural areas in selected countries, 2018


Today, more than 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water.

More than half the global population lacks access to proper sanitation services. More than a third of the global population is affected by water scarcity. Roughly 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated, adding to already problematic levels of water pollution. Energy is an essential part of the solution, and IEA analysis shows that achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation would add less than 1% to global energy demand in the Sustainable Development Scenario by 2030.