The water-energy vulnerability in the Barcelona metropolitan area

Hyerim Yoon, D. Sauri, E. Domene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. This paper focuses on the water-energy nexus in low income households. Water, electricity and gas constitute fundamental resources for households that interplay throughout many daily activities. However, in studies on household poverty, there is a tendency to treat water and energy separately. In this contribution, we argue for the joint consideration of both forms of deprivation and present empirical evidence for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). In Barcelona, the dynamics between water and energy poverty in households widened the scope of institutional measures on energy poverty by incorporating water poverty as part of guaranteeing the ‘right to basic utilities’. We document the interactions between the two resources through the water-energy nexus approach by combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Apart from presenting the expenditure-based analysis of the Spanish Survey of Income and Living Conditions, which reveals that a significant part of the population is both water and energy poor, with the results from our semi-structured interviews, we are able to demonstrate how much importance and value the affected households give to their thermal and hydric (dis)comfort, which in turn, exerts a direct impact on their daily hygiene and health. The paper also highlights institutional and socio-technical perspective as the differences in ownership and regulatory status of both resources cause discordances in public efforts to alleviate the status of the water and energy poor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-189
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • Domestic hot water
  • Energy poverty
  • Expenditure based analysis
  • Water poverty
  • Water-energy nexus


Dive into the research topics of 'The water-energy vulnerability in the Barcelona metropolitan area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this