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SEI brief

Integrating the WEAP and LEAP systems to support planning and analysis at the water-energy nexus

This fact sheet describes how SEI has linked its powerful water and energy/mitigation planning software systems, each used by thousands worldwide, to allow the tools to be used together for integrated analysis and decision-making.

Charles Heaps, Jack Sieber, David Purkey, Marion Davis / Published on 24 August 2012

Purkey, D., C. Heaps, J. Sieber and M. Davis (2012). Integrating the WEAP and LEAP systems to support planning and analysis at the water-energy nexus. SEI Factsheet.

Water and energy systems have historically been treated as separate realms, with little consideration of one in the planning of the other, and little discussion of interactions between the two. Yet in reality, they are closely interlinked. Water is needed in the vast majority of global energy production systems – for fuel extraction and processing, in hydropower production, and for power-plant cooling, among other uses. And energy is essential for pumping, treating and distributing water.

Efforts to address climate change have heightened awareness of these linkages – the “water-energy nexus” – and of the need to integrate water and energy planning and decision-making, especially in areas facing water scarcity. Yet even as recognition of these issues has grown, a lack of suitable tools has hindered efforts to address key questions at the water-energy nexus.

Through this project, SEI linked LEAP (the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system) and WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning system), making it easy to exchange key model parameters and results, such as hydropower generated or cooling water requirements. Used together, LEAP and WEAP can now represent evolving conditions in both water and energy systems, allowing planners to see the implications for each of a wide range of scenarios and policy choices.

Download the factsheet (PDF, 346kb)

SEI authors

2018 portrait of Charlie Heaps
Charles Heaps

Senior Scientist


Profile picture of Jack Sieber
Jack Sieber

Senior Scientist


David Purkey

Centre Director

SEI Latin America

Design and development by Soapbox.