Navigating the water–energy nexus amidst the Lebanese economic crisis

Nora Fayssal, Lara Al Tawil, Hrair Danageuzian, Mira Sabat, Hana ElMerehbi, Dovan Darazi, Macole Sabat, Roy Roukos, Sara Abou Dargham, Jimmy Romanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Lebanon’s economic crisis has disrupted the country’s energy and water sectors, highlighting their interdependence. The methodology
involves surveying 150 municipalities across all Lebanese governorates, ensuring a comprehensive coverage of public and private water
resources. Data on water and energy were collected before and during the crisis to explore this nexus during periods of economic turmoil.
The findings reveal a decline in water provision during the crisis, with the average weekly water supply plummeting from 49 h in 2019 to 22 h
in 2023. Concurrently, the use of water tankers has surged from 26 to 44%, indicating a concerning shift in water acquisition methods.
Despite the crisis, conventional water sources remain predominant, while unconventional sources account for less than 1% of the total
supply. In response to the energy shortage, renewable energy sources have gained traction in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.
The scarcity and rising cost of electricity have driven the adoption of solar photovoltaics in the water sector, reaching 4.8% for extraction from
underground reservoirs and 2.8% for distribution. Similarly, the use of solar water heaters has increased from 7.9 to 15.4% in 2023. These
findings underscore the interplay between energy and water security during periods of economic instability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAqua, water Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Society
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • environmental economics
  • SDG7
  • sustainability
  • water-energy nexus
  • water resources
  • water security
  • Lebanon

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