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20 Feb 15

Publication

A Global Choke Point Report: China’s Water-Energy-Food Roadmap

The water-energy-food nexus is creating a complicated challenge for China and the world. Energy development requires water. Moving and cleaning water requires energy. Food production at all stages - from irrigation to distribution - requires water and energy. As the most populous country and the world’s manufacturing hub, China demands all three resources in ever increasing amounts, leading to shortages that are creating serious choke points to the country’s development. Pressure on water is at the heart of these resource constraints facing China. How China can secure enough clean water to maintain agricultural and energy production to meet its population’s needs is a challenge that holds far-reaching consequences for the country’s future. As a systematic attempt to summarize China’s choke point challenges and spark innovative thinking and pragmatic action, the Roadmap begins with an overview of the water-energy-food nexus trends in China, starting with the energy sector’s thirst for water - from coal and hydropower to renewables and natural gas. The second section examines the often-overlooked energy footprint of China’s water sector, and the third outlines the water and energy demands of China’s food sector. The Roadmap then pulls in lessons from the U.S. experience dealing with water-energy-food challenges, and closes with suggestions on how Chinese policy practitioners, businesses, and civil society groups could embark on a comprehensive assessment of the current situation and initiate action to address China’s choke points. This report builds on the China Environment Forum’s (CEF) extensive research in partnership with Circle of Blue, and draws heavily on a weeklong exchange with American and Chinese water, energy, and food experts that took place in China in August 2013. Since 2010, CEF and Circle of Blue have raised awareness of the water-energy-food confrontation in China and served as “matchmakers,” helping to build knowledge partnerships among the government, NGOs, and the private sector to further choke point research. We were greatly encouraged when, in November 2014, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping jointly announced—as part of a new climate accord to curb carbon emissions - the launch of a $50 million water-energy nexus program under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). This partnership could serve as a model for future bilateral and multilateral water-energy management cooperation. With this Roadmap we seek to provide a comprehensive look at the water-energy-food challenges China faces and highlight further opportunities for U.S.- China cooperation.

08 Feb 15

Article

Social norms in water services: Exploring the fair price of water

The aim of this article is to analyse price fairness in water services.

08 Feb 15

Article

Power-Sharing in the English Lowlands? The Political Economy of Farmer Participation and Cooperation in Water Governance

We analyse the current power dynamic that exists among farmers and between them and the key stakeholders involved in water management.

08 Feb 15

Article

Competition, conflict, and compromise: Three discourses used by irrigators in England and their implications for the comanagement of water resources

In this paper we use discourse analysis to explore the current dynamic that exists among farmer irrigators in England, and between irrigators and water managers in order to understand the potential for co-management to develop.

08 Feb 15

Article

Understanding the political in groundwater management: Comparing Yemen and Ethiopia

This paper explores the role of politics in water management, in particular, comparing groundwater management in Yemen and Ethiopia.

08 Feb 15

Article

Water Governance in a Comparative Perspective: From IWRM to a ‘Nexus’ Approach?

This paper reviews the burgeoning nexus literature to determine some common indicative criteria before examining its implementation in practice vis-à-vis more established integrated water resources management (IWRM) models.

07 Feb 15

Article

The water-energy-food security nexus through the lenses of the value chain and IAD frameworks

Although the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework has developed a solid reputation in the policy sciences, empirical applications of the related NAS concept are rare.

07 Feb 15

Article

Tackling complexity: Understanding the food-energy-environment nexus in Ethiopia’s Lake Tana sub-basin

To achieve Ethipoia’s goal to become a middle-income country by 2025, an agricultural development led industrialization strategy is being implemented.

07 Feb 15

Article

Securitising sustainability? Questioning the ‘water, energy and food-security nexus’

The nexus approach highlights the need for an integrative approach towards issues of water, energy and food, and puts them under a general framework of security.

07 Feb 15

Water Alternatives Special Issue

Critical Thinking on the “New Security Convergence” in Energy, Food, Climate and Water: Is the Nexus Secure... and for Whom?

The nexus is still very much an immature concept. Although it is difficult to disagree with a vision of integration between water, food and energy systems, there are fewer consensuses about what it means in reality. While some consider its framing to be too restrictive (excluding climate change and nature), particular actors see it as linked to green economy and poverty reduction, while others emphasise global scarcity and value chain management. The nexus debates, however, mask a bigger debate on resource inequality and access, contributing to social instability. Indeed, the market-technical framing of the nexus by the World Economic Forum, located in international business imperatives and global neoliberal policy hides political issues such as inequality, the manufacture of scarcity and international political economy and geopolitics. By addressing these, we then propose a new framing of the nexus. Edited by Jeremy Allouche, Institute of Development Studies Research Fellow, Carl Middleton, Chulalongkorn University, and Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.

Access the full range of resources by topic, institution, people or region.

NEXUS Knowledge

This section introduces and presents key documents, presentations, links and other information on the nexus. We foresee that it will grow over time and aim to build a comprehensive online archive of Nexus-related knowledge products for decision-makers in politics and the corporate world, researchers, experts and other interested users.

Systematic & full text search will be added soon.

We do welcome your suggestions for inclusion of Nexus-related information and thank you in advance!

Contact us by email at publish[at]water-energy-food.org

Partners

  • 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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