UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A Normative-Institutional to Water-Energy Nexus: A Case Analysis of Brazil

Lapa Villas Boas de Carvalho, Priscila; (2021) A Normative-Institutional to Water-Energy Nexus: A Case Analysis of Brazil. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Carvalho_10126548_thesis_id_removed.pdf]

Download (6MB) | Preview


The multiple targets contained in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) often crosscut and refer to more than one SDG, suggesting the need to consider the potential for synergies and trade-offs. Different targets are interlinked positively or negatively, supported by empirical evidence. The close relationship between water, electricity and sustainable development has been on the international political radar for some time. The lack of integrated planning, policies and objectives between sectors disputing common-pool resources has long been a major obstacle to sustainability. The literature on water-energy nexus highlights the need for co-management across these sectors, whereby joint planning and solutions under better integrated governance of resources could make action more efficient and cost-effective to advance the SDGs. Brazil has been chosen as a case study, because its electricity sector depends on water to keep affordable tariffs, which in turn serves as input to important electricity intensive sectors (water). Hydrological factors (droughts) and non-hydrological factors (e.g. chronic delays in delivery of new plants) have impacted on water availability, which led to constraints for hydro power generation. Electricity prices have risen, while water quantity and quality have plunged, affecting multiple users and ecological integrity. All of which impact negatively on livelihoods and water services and sanitation, with electricity representing the fastest growing costs for the latter. Most of the existing work has favoured integration of water and electricity sectors based on quantitative approach to address the interlinkages between them and tackle trade-offs. However, from a legal perspective, very little is known about how these sectors should be integrated in practice. The novel combination of qualitative research methods based on metrics, historical-institutional analysis, questionnaire and interviews served as instruments for the assessment of the water-electricity nexus issues and development of a new legal approach to manage conflicts arising in Brazil. This study proposes a normative- institutional approach that offers a flexible, integrated and adequate legal treatment to overcome the conflicts between water and electricity in the context of asymmetrical governance, policies, regulation, planning and environmental injustices. Split in substantive, institutional and procedural dimensions this approach is necessary to enhance participatory and equitable resource management based on the laws of balancing principles through fair, rational, inclusive and transparent procedures, which can address different dimensions of resource nexus. It was concluded that for water- electricity nexus thinking to be connected to the idea of integration it will be necessary to consider justice in order to advance the SDGs in a holistic and fair manner.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A Normative-Institutional to Water-Energy Nexus: A Case Analysis of Brazil
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126548
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item