Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Conference Speaker Studies Linkages of Water, Energy, and Food

As fresh water becomes scarcer in many parts of the world, the water-energy-food nexus becomes the critical linkage of resources, especially to people who live on the economic margins. "Water generates electricity in hydropower plants, cools thermal power and nuclear power plants, and is used to mine coal and extract oil and gas. Energy is increasingly being used to desalinate saline water and to distribute water in urban piped networks. Food production also increasingly requires energy to pump groundwater and process agricultural produce." (Siddiqi, 2/13/14). We are excited to have Dr. Afreen Siddiqi as one of our invited keynote speakers at this year's International WaTER Conference.
Dr. Siddiqi has joint positions as a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Visiting Scholar with the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT. Dr. Siddiqi’s research expertise is at the intersection of engineering and policy with a focus on natural resources planning and technical capacity building in developing countries. 

                     Pumped well water in Pakistan is made available for irrigation of agricultural fields, showing the nexus of water and food.

Her current research focus is on quantitative analysis of emerging critical linkages between water, energy, and food security at urban, provincial, and national scales in the water-scarce Middle East and in the water rich but energy-starved Indus Basin of Pakistan. We look forward to the wisdom that she will share on this very important topic.