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Stockholm—1st September—IISD, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources and KfW Development Bank are co-organising a seminar at the World Water Week in Stockholm. The seminar brings together a range of international experts to discuss the effects of fuel and energy subsidies on water consumption and how to reform these.

The price of energy is a strong driver of groundwater extraction. Several countries subsidize diesel or electricity for the agricultural sector to secure farmer’s incomes and to achieve food security. These incentives lead to an expansion of the cultivation of water-intensive crops with water inefficient technologies, resulting in the depletion of groundwater and energy resources.

Increased water usage has, in turn, implications for the energy sector. Electricity companies and State Electricity Boards are not able to cover their costs and cannot invest in new generation capacity or updated infrastructure. A cash-starved electricity system will favour options with low up-front costs, making renewable electricity less attractive and therefore further exposing countries and consumers to the impacts of high and volatile fossil fuel prices.

To overcome this dilemma, energy subsidy reform is required. Yet agricultural output remains fundamental to human well-being and economic output. This means that innovative reform strategies are needed to ensure that impacts on the poorest and their businesses are mitigated, guaranteeing a transition to sustainable agriculture. Such reform has to integrate the "nexus" approach to energy, water and food, targeting at the same time improvements to the economy, the conservation of natural resources and improved food security.

Please find below a list of speakers and panelists that will participate in the seminar.

Speakers:

  • Mr. Tom Moerenhout, IISD, "Problems posed by energy subsidies in general and those to irrigation in particular; the difficulties of reform"
  • Mr. Saleh Al Dubby, NWRA and Mr. Henning Baur, KfW, "Effects of fuel subsidies on water consumption"
  • Mr. Tushan Shar, IWMI, "India’s groundwater-energy nexus: Current state and future prospects"
  • Mr. Alberto Garrido, IPM, "Water pricing in Spain"

Panelists:

  • Mrs. Dimple Roy, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Mr. Saleh Al Dubby, National Water Resources Authority
  • Mr. Henning Baur, KfW Development Bank
  • Mr. Tushan Shar, International Water Management Institute
  • Mr. Alberto Garrido, Polytechnic University of Madrid

You can see the full program for the seminar here.

For more information about the seminar please contact Tom Moerenhout at [email protected].

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