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NEXUS Initiatives

The “Water Stewardship Initiative” intends to scale up cooperation with the private sector. It will create innovative partnerships to mobilise bottom-up action between government, business and civil society for improved water (and land) management in developing countries. It recognizes that water is a shared resource and cannot be secured by one actor alone.

The project aims at enhancing the capacities of rural communities to adapt to climate change effects by adopting a comprehensive and integrated approach that aims at various Nexus issues, including ecologically friendly and weather-responsive agriculture, water budgeting to match water availability with demand, “precision farming” that optimises land and water productivity in field conditions, and renewable energy for household cooking and lighting. It also aims at developing practical knowledge, tools and systems that can be widely adopted thus facilitating upscaling.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Water Association (IWA) offer a space for the linkages across water, energy and food to be discussed through the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions. The Dialogue is a call to action to those leading transformations in water infrastructure planning, financing and operation.

This private-public partnership intends to reduce water risks for a large South African energy company by enabling it to invest in water loss reduction in an “upstream” municipality, simultaneously reducing the municipality’s costs and its resident’s water insecurity. Key result will be the reduction of water losses in the ELM area by 12 million m3 by June 2014.

GBEP endorsed a set of 24 relevant, practical, science-based, voluntary sustainability indicators for bioenergy. These indicators are intended to guide any analysis undertaken of bioenergy at the domestic level with a view to informing decision making and facilitating the sustainable development of bioenergy. The main objective of the project is to assess data availability and collection capacity, and tailor methodologies for measuring the indicators to country conditions.

This commitment will aim at helping water utilities around the world move towards carbon neutrality, by reducing water losses, improving energy efficiency and turning wastewater into an energy source.

This policy statement focuses on investments in women’s access to energy and water to improve agricultural production, living conditions, food security, and boost national economies.

UNSGAB calls on Country Governments at UNCSD2012 to commit to strengthen their respective actions on pollution of freshwater by human activities by recognizing the linkages between wastewater, food and energy to ensure wastewater is used as a vital resource for development; adopting a shared vision of the ways to manage urban, industrial and agricultural wastewater including collection, treatment and reuse; taking steps to agree on targets related to wastewater management; and requesting the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) or another UN agency to collect national statistics on wastewater management and report on its global progress

The international data research initiative aims at collecting better data for better policies: The ELD initiative aims at the preparation and presentation of a cost-benefit analysis in the context of land degradation, in order to put decision-makers in politics and business in a position to take the necessary measures for better rural development and food security and promote sustainable land management.

In Bolivia, German Development Cooperation agricultural, water and energy programmes are developing joint indicators, in a more nexus-driven approach. Moving forward, activities could include things such as increased energy efficiency of water utilities, production of the required energy in the processes of drinking water treatment and provision and reusing waste water in agriculture.

This project will develop a mapping tool to connect actors with a shared interest in improving water management on a location-specific basis, to help generate “collective action”. Water-related activities of companies, NGOs, governments and donors will be overlaid onto water risk maps to encourage dating and multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) heads agreed to develop a joint action plan, stressing the need to reduce food price volatility and improve food and water security in coordination with the Group of Twenty (G-20). The 3-year action plan focuses on four priority areas: Supporting food access for poor and vulnerable people, addressing food market volatility, financing investments and promoting policy frameworks to improve agricultural productivity, and helping countries allocate water efficiently across sectors, and supporting the agricultural sector in using water productively throughout the value chain.

This research project will present, develop and demonstrate a tool for the concurrent evaluation of crop production, national energy and water management, as well as the simultaneous assessment of selected GHG mitigation, vulnerability and adaptation scenarios, therefore providing a valuable tool for policy makers addressing nexus challenges.

This project will establish a series workshops series to promote and develop capacities in developing countries and countries in transition for safe reuse of waste water (incl. grey water) in agriculture to reduce the impact of water scarcity without risk to human health and to minimize water pollution.

This year Berlin has started a series of events called “Blue Planet – Berlin Water Dialogues”. The issue of water is an umbrella under which the organisers integrate the other aspects of the Nexus and provide a platform for dialogue for stakeholders and experts across different sectors.


The Bonn2011 Nexus Conference introduced and successfully established several concrete Outcome Initiatives related to the Nexus. We present each of them briefly below and will provide regular updates on each initiative.

NEXUS in the Media

27 Oct 14

Abu Dhabi City Guide

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced that it will be presenting its specialized research-focused degree programs to young UAE nationals at Najah 2014, the leading education training exhibition and career fair in the Middle East. At this event, UAE national PhD student Ahmed Al Harethi will showcase his project that illustrates the role of native microalgae strains in the food-water-energy nexus.

23 Oct 14

The Economist

If rivers run dry or we pollute them, it’s not just wildlife that suffers; water companies, farmers and power utilities are affected too. This is why governments from South Africa to Sweden have prioritised the maintenance of river flows in laws, policy or guidelines. The maintenance of river flows is critical to determining the future success or failure of meeting the water security challenge. The trade-offs referred to in abstract food-water-energy nexus debates often take tangible form when decisions are made about how to use rivers like the Itchen, Godavari, Great Ruaha or Yangtze. Yet we hear little in nexus debates about these vital freshwater ecosystems. By Dave Tickner

23 Oct 14

Independent European Daily Express

Security is a multi-faceted domain that operates at the nexus of human development and sustainable management of water, energy and food resources.

22 Oct 14


Does a shift in global policy debates toward the ‘water-energy-food security nexus’ - that is, looking at competition over natural resources to provide for these vital needs - translate into any real change in the way water is managed? Is the concept useful in this era of a changing climate? Beatrice Mosello of ODI and Shehnaaz Moosa of CDKN report on the latest in ‘nexus’ debates from World Water Week, which they attended in Stockholm in September.

22 Oct 14

Engineering News

A 12-month prefeasibility study (PFS) by consulting firm GIBB to investigate the viability of the Monont’sa pumped-storage power plant, in Lesotho, has concluded that the scheme will provide significant power to South Africa’s rapidly developing neighbour when required to do so.


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
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