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Aalto University (2016)

The Linkages of Energy and Water - The Case of the Ili-Balkhash Basin

Enckell Konrad

Titre : The Linkages of Energy and Water - The Case of the Ili-Balkhash Basin

Auteur : Enckell Konrad

Université de soutenance : Aalto University

Grade : Master’s Thesis 2016

For the past couple of centuries global affluence and relations have largely been driven by the resources and methods of energy production. Energy production and water resources management are often decidedly dependent on one another and after the intensified energy production of the past decades many regions now find themselves water scarce and many fossil fuel resources are dwindling globally. As energy and water are so closely interlinked and affect our wealth and our global relationships, it is crucial that we understand their linkage better. In this thesis I will examine that linkage by studying how the current energy trade between the P.D.R. China and Kazakhstan affects the transboundary Ili-Balkhash watershed indirectly and how the planned synthetic natural gas development in the region can affect both the watershed and the existing relation between the countries. In the study I conclude that the energy trade between the two states fuels population increase, immigration and consumption in the region. This development increases both water use and pollution of the watersheds in the studied watershed. The trade partnership creates a relationship between the states, which leaves no room for discussion of these issues. I also conclude that the production of synthetic natural gas in the region will deplete the Ili-Balkhash watershed further and it can act as a major source of pollution of the watershed. This new form of energy production will also lessen China’s dependency on Kazakhstan for energy trade and this can free up their relations to such a level that discussions regarding water resources can be possible again.

Mots clés : Water resources, energy trade, energy production, water stress, Central Asia


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