Abstract for: A Framework for Analysis of Energy-Water Interdependency Problems

The overall objective of this work is to improve the holistic value of energy development strategies by integrating management criteria for water availability, water quality, and ecosystem health into the energy system planning process. The Snake River Basin (SRB) in southern Idaho is used as a case study to show options for improving full economic utilization of aquatic resources given multiple scenarios such as changing climate, additional regulations, and increasing population. Through the incorporation of multiple management criteria, potential crosscutting solutions to energy and water issues in the SRB can be developed. The final result of this work will be a multi-criteria decision support tool usable by policy makers and researchers alike that will give insight into the behavior of the management criteria over time and will allow the user to experiment with a range of potential solutions. Because several basins in the arid west are dealing with similar water, energy, and ecosystem issues, the tool and conclusions will be transferrable to a wide range of locations and applications. This is a very large project to be completed in phases. This paper deals with interactions between the hydrologic system and water use at a basin level. Future work will include the interdependency between energy use and water use in these systems.