About Susanna Sutherland, Principal, Sutherland & Associates

Susanna Sutherland, PhD, is Principal of Sutherland & Associates, a mission-driven company that helps organizations understand influencers, develop approaches, and evaluate impacts on climate change issues. She works across networks of local government practitioners and philanthropic funders to advance innovations within urban systems and specializes in the water-energy nexus.

Four Cornerstones for Integrating Water and Energy Systems

The water-energy nexus is not new. The concept that our water and energy systems are reliant on each other is sometimes paired with a third issue, like food security or public health. This can make it more relevant to our daily lives. Despite a basic understanding of resource interdependencies, city and utility leaders still allow planning and implementation processes to remain predominately separate. A common local scenario finds the water utility facing system upkeep alone, the energy utility not considering other utility issues or city goals as they operate, and city leaders generally focused on more visibly troublesome urban systems, like housing or transportation.