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Needs for affordable and clean energy, for water in adequate quantity and quality, and for food security will increasingly be the central challenges for humanity: these needs are strongly linked. In some regions, the increasing demands for water in support of energy development and use pose challenges to its availability
for food and other human needs and for important ecological systems. It is critically important that planning and investment in energy and water infrastructure and associated policies take into account the deep interaction between water and energy. A systems approach based on specific regional circumstances and long-term planning is essential.
Viewing each factor separately will lead to inefficiencies, added stress on water availability for food production and for critical ecosystems, and a higher risk of major failures or shortages in energy supply. In almost all regions of the world, innovative ways of achieving higher efficiency in use of energy and water will be the key factors that determine whether these linked challenges can be met.