Trade-offs between energy and waterfootprints


Winnie Gerbens-Leenes


Arjen Hoekstra
Theo van der Meer




University of Twente


March 2007 – June 2008

Background and objectives

Recently, interest in biomass for energy purposes has increased. Compared to fossil energy carriers, biomass production requires substantial amounts of water, however. But the supply of water, on the other hand, requires energy. The main objectives of this study are to:

Assess the waterfootprint of energy carriers varying from fossil energy to different form of sustainable energy carriers (sun, wind, biomass)

Assess the energyfootprint of water supply

The subjects of sustainable energy and water use are interrelated and have a high societal relevance. This requires an interdisciplinairy approach that brings together two research fields, the thermodynamic analysis of energy generation from biomass and the waterfootprint analysis. The cooperation between the Laboratory of Thermal Engineering and the Water Engineering and Management Group is aimed to bring together the knowledge from different disciplines into one coherent framework and forms the basis for further joint research.