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UNDESA and ITAIPU Binacional launch the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions partnership initiative
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On 7 March, UNDESA and ITAIPU Binacional (Brazil-Paraguay), launched the “Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions partnership initiative” at UN Headquarters in New York. Recognizing the need to address the interlinkages between water and energy, this unique partnership will work over an initial 4-year period to promote water and energy sustainability and other SDGs in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 
This partnership aims to become a global sustainability network on SDG6 (Water) and SDG7 (Energy) interlinkages, with a large number of members from all regions and constituencies, including governments, businesses, civil society and international organizations. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to provide a platform for all stakeholders to enhance capacities and signal their high-level commitment to support the implementation of SDG6 and SDG7 in a holistic manner.
The Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions partnership will build capacities, dialogues and cooperation for addressing water and energy interlinkages for sustainable development. The partnership will also identify the key barriers and opportunities for integration, and work collaboratively to identify and drive key actions to address them. Such actions will include sharing good practices, developing capacity and promoting specific innovations through enhanced international cooperation. 
“Without integrated sustainable water and energy programmes and systems, many synergies supporting poverty eradication cannot be realized”, said Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with Itaipu Binacional, which is a world example on how two countries could work together in a peaceful and harmonic manner to provide reliable and clean energy to all their citizens. “ 
“The partnership between Itaipu and UNDESA is much more than a partnership between an electric company and a UN organization. Itaipu, by itself, is already a successful partnership between two countries that have joined efforts to transform the waters of the Parana River into energy. So, we see this cooperation with UNDESA for the implementation of SDGs 6 and 7 as a partnership that will be equally successful”, said Mr. Luiz Fernando Leone Vianna, Brazilian General Director of Itaipu.
“We are very pleased with this opportunity to work together with UNDESA in order to promote the 2030 Agenda and, in this case, SDGs 6 and 7”, said Mr. James Spalding, Paraguayan General Director. “Itaipu not only focuses on clean and renewable energy generation, but also has a strong track record in corporate social responsibilty as well as environmental conservation.  We look forward to this strategic alliance with UNDESA and have no doubt of the positive and concrete results”.
Energy and water are closely interlinked and interdependent. About 90% of global power generation is water intensive. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers. Both energy and water are used in the production of crops, including those used to generate energy through biofuels. Growing populations and economies place additional demands on water and energy, while several regions around the world are already experiencing significant water and energy shortages. Today, 1.1billion people lack access to electricity, while water stress is affecting more than 2 billion people. By 2035, energy consumption will increase by 50%, which in turn will increase the energy sector's water consumption by 85%.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the centrality of energy and water resources to sustainable development, and the vital role that improved access to both water and energy play in advancing progress in other areas, including health, education and poverty eradication. An integrated approach to the Water-Energy interlinkages can increase energy efficiency, decrease water pollution, reduce costs of energy and water delivery, increase access to services, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet despite recent efforts, there has been insufficient attention at global level to the water-energy interlinkages. While the sustainable development goals on water and energy are set, there is still a need to leverage existing global assessments, knowledge and best practices on water and energy to present a coherent message in support of intergovernmental dialogues. Building from on-the-ground experiences, the UNDESA and ITAIPU Binacional Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions is an important step in helping bridge the gap between silo-based  institutional, sectoral and thematic  approaches  to drive integrated action on these important areas. 
ITAIPU Binacional is a global leader in clean, sustainable and renewable energy production and has been recognized as a prominent example of binational cooperation and partnership for sustainable development since the beginning of its operation in the 1970s. ITAIPU has become one of the main drivers of economic and social development of the border region between the two countries. Working directly at the intersection between energy and water, ITAIPU is a leading example of innovation in the water-energy nexus, as demonstrated through its “Cultivating Good Water” programme, which won the ‘Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practice Award in water management in 2015. 
UNDESA holds up the development pillar of the UN Secretariat. Based at UN Headquarters in New York, its nine Divisions work together towards a common goal to promote development, together with a Capacity Development Office. UN DESA’s work promotes and supports international cooperation in the pursuit of sustainable development for all. It addresses a range of cross-cutting issues that affect peoples’ lives and livelihoods, especially the most vulnerable, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) supported by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
For further information, contact:
Matthias Klettermayer, Associate Public Information Officer 
Division for Sustainable Development | Department of Economic and Social Affairs 
Flavio Miranda, Media Relations Manager from Itaipu Binacional – Brazil
Abel Gimenez Toledo, Media Relations Manager from Itaipu Binacional – Paraguay