The 13th Annual American Ecological Society meeting focuses on the theme of Ecosystems for Water and Energy. As the complexities of the problems affecting world growth and sustainability are uncovered, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is impossible to consider water or energy in isolation from each other. It takes energy to treat polluted waters and producing and transferring energy frequently requires a clean source of water. More researchers and engineers are exploring and even implementing ecologically-engineered solutions that concurrently address both water and energy problems. For example, biomass production for bioenergy has the potential to either improve of degrade water quality – depending on agricultural practices. Anaerobic digestion has the potential to be combined with ecosystems, such as treatment wetlands and algal ponds, to both produce clean energy and reclaim wastewaters.
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