The focus of the 24th annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden 1-5 September 2014, was ‘Water and Energy’, two sectors which are inextricably linked and interdependent.
A highlight of the week was IPIECA’s side-event which convened over 70 participants from the energy industry, government and NGO community. The side-event – ‘Oil & Water Don’t Mix’, was organised with Conservation International and featured a panel debate involving BP, Chevron and Shell. The oil and gas representatives spoke candidly about the processes they implement to assess water risks across their operations and the management practices that they implement.
The week also featured the launch of the WRI report Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability Constraints and Business Risks, which provides water availability data across seven indicators enabling decision makers to make informed decisions. Apache provided a presentation describing their use of brackish and saline water in Texas instead of freshwater for extraction of shale gas. This presentation provided an excellent example of how the oil and gas industry is finding alternatives to freshwater use in extraction of shale gas through advances in technology.
An important outcome from the week was recognition by both the energy and water community that ‘siloed’ thinking is not enough; the nexus approach and broadening the boundaries of the issues will be the way to find solutions and trade-offs will be necessary.
Each year World Water Week brings together over 2,500 global experts, practitioners, decision-makers and business leaders to share thinking and innovative solutions around our global water management challenges. Many sessions and discussions were framed by the pending Sustainable Development Goals and a likely dedicated goal  on water.