BIRMINGHAM — Ralph Exton, chief marketing officer of GE Water & Process Technologies, spoke with Water Technology Assistant Editor Maria Woodie about addressing the global energy-water nexus, including food production concerns and the need for investing in critical infrastructure.

In this podcast exclusive, Exton discusses the symbiotic relationship between energy and water. “It really comes down to [this:] In order to produce energy, the majority of energy-producing equipment and processes around the world require water as a key component to produce that electricity,” he explains. “And on the converse, in order to process water, whether you are treating water … conveying water … purifying water, it takes energy to do that. So, strong interdependencies [exist] between water and energy, which is why people often refer to it as the water-energy nexus.”

He continues, “Now in terms of why people are talking about this now, [or] why they are talking about this even more [and] why it is being more closely addressed, I think it has to do with a few things. Some major, macro environmental things [are] going on. One is obvious, climate change — and the association of climate change with what is [currently] going on [such as] more droughts, more floods and water scarcity in already arid regions.”

Other highlights in this podcast include: the role of urbanization and other current water challenges, how these rising energy-water concerns are impacting global industries and what these industries can do to address these issues, and the solutions available to tackle the energy-water nexus and what the industry can expect in the future.

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