Energy Excursions

Water-Energy Nexus

“Gain insight on the importance of the water-energy nexus as we face increasing demand and limited resources, through an excursion in Texas and beyond.” 


This lesson provides a basis for understanding the water-energy nexus, a synergistic relationship between Earth’s natural resources to satisfy energy and water demand. Students will gain an understanding of the water-energy nexus related to Texas energy production and consumption, and impacts on land and water resources. Students will explore the history of energy production for electricity generation and other uses in Texas within the framework of the current energy industry. Efforts to address the challenge of constrained supply and increasing resource demand are introduced through case studies of projects and organizations that seek to provide the necessary complex solutions for Texas and the world. 

Learning Outcomes 

  • What is the water-energy nexus? 
    • Gain an understanding of the importance of water for energy and energy for water 
  • Gain an understanding of the water-energy-land nexus in Texas 
    • Resource challenges and impacts to the land 
    • Follow the spotlighted career of a scientist who is making significant contributions to the connection between water resources, landscape development, and human interactions. 
  • Learn about the history of energy production and electricity in Texas 
    • How has power generation changed over time? 
    • Texas Oil Boom 
  • Become familiar with different energy sources and their water intensity for power generation 
  • Learn about Planet Texas 2050, a grand challenge that addresses critical resource limitations and solutions for the future of Texas
  • Design your own scenarios for power generation in Texas from various primary energy sources
Oklahoma Academic Standards
TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics
Next Generation Science Standards