Energy Demand and Displaced Social- Ecological Systems Impacts of Long-

Energy Demand and Displaced SocialEcological Systems Impacts of LongDistance Water Conveyance: The Central
Arizona Project’s Water-Energy Nexus
Susanna Eden, Christopher A. Scott,
Melissa Lamberton and Sharon Megdal
The University of Arizona
Conceptual Approach
•  Water-energy nexus as conventionally viewed is
about resources:
–  Energy to access, deliver, treat water
–  Water for power generation
–  e.g. footprint calculators, “embedded” resources, $ costs
•  Here I reconceive, recast nexus in
social-ecological systems terms:
–  driver of and adaptive response to global change
–  human-natural coupling & mutual conditioning
–  access & outcomes socially & politically mediated
–  ecological, social impacts often displaced, “invisible”
Central Arizona
Project – the
resource nexus
Figure 6. Comparison of central Arizona supply and demand
2100 = 3.6 million acre-feet
15.2 million people
2075 = 3.1 million acre-feet
12.9 million people
2045 = 2.4 million acre-feet
10.2 million people
2030 = 2.0 million af
8.5 million people
Possibly Available
Likely Available
Currently Secured
Gallons per megawatt-hour
CAP nexus
Navajo Generating Station
1,132,056 AF are "exported" from Arizona-based reservoirs via seepage and
evaporation to fulfill other states' electrical demands.
Export 24,501 AF
Displaced impacts
•  Socially, Navajo and Hopi Nations are
water-energy access poor despite relative
resource abundance
•  Environmentally, Kayenta coal mine and
(Navajo) “N” aquifer are impact groundzero for (displaced) real-estate
development and lifestyle choices in
Phoenix, Tucson, beyond
•  EPA regulations will drive NGS emissions
compliance, but Los Angeles Water &
Power will pull out
Water-energy nexus as
complex social-ecological system
•  Human-natural coupling and mutual
•  SES resilience to global change –
because the nexus is a driver it is also an
adaptive strategy
•  Displacement (social and environmental)
can be exacerbated by purely local “green
responsibility” – the Phoenix, Tucson, and
Los Angeles phenomena with the CAP
Comments / questions?
Christopher Scott
Univ. Arizona students at CAP