Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Kristen Averyt

The Energy-Water Nexus: Where Climate Adaptation and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies Collide

co-sponsored with Western Water Assessment

by Kristen Averyt, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Western Water Assessment

Abstract: Averaged across the US, water withdrawals by the energy industry are approximately the same as for agriculture. Conversely, moving, pumping and cleaning water requires a significant quantity of energy. The nexus between energy and water elicits conflicts and opportunities between supply and demand regimes that may be significantly altered by climate change. The average lifetime of a power plant is beyond 30 years. With almost 40GW of capacity generated by coal-fired power plants to be retired across the US by 2015, decisions made today regarding electricity futures will have long-term implications for water resources, carbon emissions, and the long-term impacts associated with climate change. This presentation will describe the energy-water nexus in the context of challenges posed by shifting water resources and policies related to carbon management policies.

Biography: Kristen Averyt is the Associate Director for Science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at theUniversity of Colorado Boulder. She is also Director of the Western Water Assessment, a NOAA program based at CIRES that focuses on connecting climate science with decision making across the Western US. Dr. Averyt a Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University. She is a lead author on the US National Climate Assessment (to be released 2015), and hasearned several awards and honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand (1998), and a NOAA Congressional Fellowship (2005), during which she worked in the US Senate for Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). As the staff scientist for Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2005­–08), she was one of the many scientists who receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Her current research revolves around climate variability and change, with a particular focus on the interplay between climate mitigation and adaptation, including the energy-water nexus.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014
2014 - 12:00 to 13:00





  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public




CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue