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NEXUS Knowledge


NEXUS in Practice

by the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Laos), TheunHinboun Power Company, Statkraft Oslo, Electrcité du Laos, and GMS Lao Company Ltd.

by Ministry of Environment (Ecudaor), Universidad de Cuenca, ETAPA Telecommunications, Empresa Electro Generadora del Austro, Junta General de Usuarios del Sistema de Riego Machángara (JGUSRM), Secretaria Nacional del Agua (SENAGUA), Instituto Nacional del Riego (INAR) and the provincial government of Azuay/Ecuador

by Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and the Government of Mali

by Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS)

Innovative Water Management

by the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

NEXUS Resources

13 Nov 14


Economic Impacts of the Land-Water-Energy Nexus - Exploring it’s Feedbacks on the Global Economy

By Fritz Hellman, Tom Kram and Ton Manders, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

17 Oct 14


Food, water, and energy security in South Asia: A nexus perspective from the Hindu Kush Himalayan region

Using secondary data from diverse sources, this paper explores the food, water, and energy nexus from a regional dimension, emphasizing the role of Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) ecosystem services in sustaining food, water, and energy security downstream.

26 Sep 14

Reading Sample of Collected Volume

The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Lessons from India for Development

It is becoming increasingly recognized that for the optimal sustainable development and use of natural resources, an integrated approach to water management, agriculture, food security and energy is required. This “nexus” is now the focus of major attention by researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. In this book, the authors show how these issues are being addressed in India as part of its economic development, and how these can provide lessons for other developing nations. They address the conflicting claims of water resources for irrigation and hydropower, where both are scarce at the national level for fostering water and energy security. They also consider the relationship between water for irrigated agriculture and household use and its impact on rural poverty. They identify weaknesses in the current hydropower development programme in India that are preventing it from being an ecologically sustainable, socially just and economically viable solution to meeting growing energy demand. The empirical analyses presented show the enormous scope for co-management of water, energy, agricultural growth and food security through appropriate technological interventions and market instruments.

16 Sep 14


Interactions between water, energy and food

Optimization - innovation - solution

13 Sep 14


Water Allocation between Agriculture and Energy: Economic vs Social values

by M.M.M. Aheeyar and M.A.C.S. Bandara held at the 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden

04 Sep 14


Demand in the Desert: Mongolia’s Water-Energy-Mining Nexus

This knowledge product examines the water–energy nexus in Mongolia and the stress factors of urbanization and mining. The water–energy nexus is the interdependency between water systems and energy systems. Water systems need energy for pumping, water treatment, wastewater treatment, transport and distribution, end use, and water system development. Energy production requires water for primary extraction and mining; fuel production (e.g., hydrogen, ethanol, and biofuels); thermal electric cooling; hydropower; and emission control.

23 Aug 14


The FoodEnergyWater Nexus: An Integrated Approach to Understanding China’s Resource Challenges

In this post, originally published in Harvard Asia Quarterly, Julian Wong draws the connections between food, water and energy systems in China and makes the case for the urgent need for more integrated approaches to resource management.

27 Jun 14


The Water-Energy Nexus in Costa Rica (2011)

By René Castro, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica.

27 Jun 14


Should we build more large dams? The actual costs of hydropower megaproject development

By Atif Ansar, Bent Flyvbjerg, Alexander Budzier, and Daniel Lunn. A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this question with the “outside view” or “reference class forecasting” based on literature on decision-making under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams - excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. Using the largest and most reliable reference data of its kind and multilevel statistical techniques applied to large dams for the first time, we were successful in fitting parsimonious models to predict cost and schedule overruns. The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return unless suitable risk management measures outlined in this paper can be affordably provided. Policymakers, particularly in developing countries, are advised to prefer agile energy alternatives that can be built over shorter time horizons to energy megaprojects. In: Energy Policy, Volume 69, June 2014, Pages 43-56.

25 Jun 14


The Water - Energy - Food Nexus Global conflicts and possible solutions

By Gustaf Olsson, held on the iiESI European Workshop in Lund, Sweden on 27 May 2014

27 May 14


Hydropower development on the Coruh River shared between Turkey and Georgia

By Waltina Scheumann, German Development Institute, held on the Bonn 2014 Nexus Conference „Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus”, 19-20 May 2014.

27 May 14


The Water-Energy Nexus in Shared River Basin: How hydro-power shapes cooperation and coordination

By Ines Dombrowsky and Waltina Scheumann, German Development Institute, held on the Bonn 2014 Nexus Conference „Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus”, 19-20 May 2014.

27 May 14

Concept Note

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus at FAO

In this concept note, published by FAO in May 2014, we learn why FAO think the Nexus aproach is the right one to slve present and future problems: A Nexus approach helps us to better understand the complex and dynamic relationship between water, energy and food, so that we can manage our limited resources sustainably, taking into account different economic, social and environmental goals. A Nexus perspective forces us to think of the impacts a decision in one sector can have not only on that sector, but on multiple sectors and drivers.

20 May 14

Conference Report

Conference Summary of Bonn’s 2014 Nexus Conference (Day 1)

Over 200 participants of the International Conference on the Sustainability of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, meeting on 19/20 May 2014 in Bonn, could choose from over 15 parallel sessions on the first Day; these covered a broad range of topics from the very notion of the nexus, to on-the-ground issues such as energy and water subsidies in the Middle East, biofuels production in Brazil, and groundwater depletion in India.

19 May 14


Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

A video on achieving water, energy and food security for everyone - one of the greatest challenges humankind is facing today. This video was commissioned by the Global Water System Project (GWSP) as an introduction to this pressing 21st century challenge. The video was launched at the International Conference “Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus”, held in Bonn, Germany on 19-20 May 2014.

14 May 14


China’s Water-Energy Nexus Challenge

Access to water and energy and continuity of supply are two critical issues facing China today. With the population expected to reach 1.6 billion people by 2030, the increasing demand for water and energy will far exceed available resources. Even today, China struggles to provide enough clean, fresh water and energy for industry, agriculture and domestic users. Limited resources have driven China to devise large infrastructure projects, which will significantly change the flows of natural waterways. It is also looking at the Tibetan Plateau as a potential source of future water and energy supply. Encompassing the sources of many of the largest rivers in Asia, China has the power to play water hegemon in the region, raising concerns about water security for downstream riparian neighbours. By Sinéad Lehane, Acting Research Manager, Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme

24 Apr 14


Study on the impacts of mainstream hydropower on the Mekong river

Presentation by Nguyen Thi Thu Linh, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam (MONRE), held on April 3rd, 2014, at the conference “Cooperation for Water, Energy, and Food Security in Transboundary Basins under Changing Climate” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

24 Apr 14


Transboundary integrated management of sediment related resources in the Lower Mekong (ecosystems, territorial integrity, power and construction sectors)

Presentation by Lois Koehnken, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), held on April 3rd, 2014, at the conference “Cooperation for Water, Energy, and Food Security in Transboundary Basins under Changing Climate” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

22 Apr 14


Policies on sustainable hydropower development in Vietnam

Presentation held by Do Duc Quan, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, on April 2nd 2014, at the conference “Cooperation for Water, Energy, and Food Security in Transboundary Basins under Changing Climate” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

22 Apr 14


Water, Energy and Food Security of China and Riparian Countries of Mekong River in the Context of Climate Change

Presentation held by Gas Bo and Zhong Yong, Ministry of Water Resources of P. R. China, on April 2nd, 2014, at the conference “Cooperation for Water, Energy, and Food Security in Transboundary Basins under Changing Climate” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

29 Mar 14


Food, water, and energy security in South Asia: A nexus perspective from the Hindu Kush Himalayan region

By Golam Rasul. - With limited land resources, inadequate energy supply, and growing water stress, South Asia faces the challenge of providing enough water and energy to grow enough food for the burgeoning population. Using secondary data from diverse sources, this paper explores the food, water, and energy nexus from a regional dimension, emphasizing the role of Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) ecosystem services in sustaining food, water, and energy security downstream. The analysis reveals that the issues and challenges in the food, water, and energy sectors are interwoven in many complex ways and cannot be managed effectively without cross-sectoral integration. The most distinctive feature of the nexus in South Asia is the high degree of dependency of downstream communities on upstream ecosystem services for dry-season water for irrigation and hydropower, drinking water, and soil fertility and nutrients. This finding suggests that along with cross-sectoral integration to improve the resource-use efficiency and productivity of the three sectors, regional integration between upstream and downstream areas is critical in food, water, and energy security. Within the nexus approach in South Asia, equal attention should be paid to management of HKH ecosystems–especially the watersheds, catchments, and headwaters of river systems–and to tapping the potential of collaborative gains in water, hydropower, and other ecosystem services through coordination across HKH countries.

27 Mar 14

Book Publication

The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus - Lessons from India for Development

In this book, the authors show how these issues are being addressed in India as part of its economic development, and how these can provide lessons for other developing nations. They address the conflicting claims of water resources for irrigation and hydropower, where both are scarce at the national level for fostering water and energy security. They also consider the relationship between water for irrigated agriculture and household use and its impact on rural poverty. They identify weaknesses in the current hydropower development programme in India that are preventing it from being an ecologically sustainable, socially just and economically viable solution to meeting growing energy demand. The empirical analyses presented show the enormous scope for co-management of water, energy, agricultural growth and food security through appropriate technological interventions and market instruments. - Edited by M. Dinesh Kumar, Nitin Bassi, A. Narayanamoorthy, M.V.K. Sivamohan

16 Feb 14


“Small Hydro World” Knowledge Platform

A new web-based knowledge sharing portal on small hydropower that features best practices from different regions of the world has been launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Centre on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP). It contains 20 regional overviews and 149 country-level reports.

28 Jan 14


Interlinkages and trade-offs between water and energy

Presentation held by Diego J. Rodriguez, The World Bank, on Jan 14th, 2014, at the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015

26 Jan 14


Policy and governance responses to the water-energy nexus

Presentation by Kathleen Dominique, OECD, held on Jan 14th, 2014, at the 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014

23 Jan 14


Understanding the water requirements of the power sector

Presentation by by Anna Delgado, World Bank, held on Jan 14th, 2014, 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day

22 Jan 14


The Water for Energy Framework

Presentation by Laurent Bellet, Institution, held on Jan 14th, 2014 at the at 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014

22 Jan 14


The Energy-Water Nexus (Thirsty Energy)

Presentation on by Pol Adarve, from Abengoa, held on Jan 2014, at 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014

21 Jan 14


The Water-Energy nexus in Japan

The Water-Energy nexus in Japan, by Hisaya Sawano, Government of Japan, held on Jan 14th, 2014 at the 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014

20 Jan 14


Water and Energy Challenges

Presentation on Water and Energy Nexus and Challenges by Michela Miletto, World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), Coordinator, held on Jan 14th 2014, at 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference.

20 Jan 14


thirsty energy - Energy and Water’s Interdependence

A large infographic documents prepared by the World Bank shows the water-energy interdependence in terms of energy needs water and water needs energy, global challenges and risks and on what’s already happening.

10 Dec 13


Let’s look long term: What Difference will Nexus Thinking have made in 2050?

The nexus approach works best with clear strategic goals. Implementation works best when all stakeholders work together and decisions are based on information and strives to learn from past mistakes. This presentation by Mike Muller, Commissioner, National Planning Commission, South Africa, outlines what could be achieved in 2050 implementing the nexus approach on water and energy security - to point this out, to focus on unintended consequences of South African water planning

22 Oct 13


California’s Water-Energy-Climate Nexus

This white paper is one of a series being written to facilitate the on-going dialogue among water and wastewater agencies, energy utilities, policymakers, regulators, customers, constituents, and other stakeholders as to the types of actions that can be taken to help achieve the state’s aggressive resource efficiency, economic and environmental goals. Some of these actions are achievable now, under existing policies, rules and regulations; others will require policy changes, new technologies and new business models. Much of it will require funding.

16 Oct 13

Discussion Brief

How Understanding Social Networks Can Help to Govern the Nexus: a Case from the Blue Nile Basin

This discussion brief is based on a scoping study of social networks linked to the governance of water, energy and food in the Tana and Beles basins in Ethiopia. The study highlights existing social networks relevant for governing the nexus and the implications of these for operationalizing a nexus approach.

10 Sep 13

Presentation at World Water Week 2013

Nexus Assessment in the MENA Countries

By Linus Mofor, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre, September 2013

10 Sep 13

Presentation at World Water Week 2013

New partnerships: essential for bringing the Nexus to life

By Jeremy Bird, IWMI, September 2013

05 Sep 13

Book Publication

The Status of the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Asia and the Pacific

The debate on natural resource scarcity was recently reignited. New scientific findings suggest that humanity has exceeded the planetary boundaries, threatening its own safe operation. Five attributes characterize the new realism of physical and economic scarcity of key resources: lack of undeveloped resource preserves, challenges of exploiting new resources, emergence of new consumers, volatility of resource prices and broadening of actors in governing resources. Of all the natural resources, water, food and energy are most needed to sustain life on earth. These three resources are tightly interconnected, forming a resource and policy nexus. Their insecurity is an impediment to social stability and economic growth. This report traces the debate, analysis and action on the water, food and energy (WFE) security nexus. Considering the complex interactions of these three resources will require new institutional capacity in both industrialized and developing countries. For the nexus approach to achieve the twin goals of human well-being and green growth, sustainability must move center-stage, with attention given to ecosystem services. The increase in resource use in Asia and the Pacific region between 1970 and 2005 was above the world average. This economic growth resulted in the region’s reliance on fossil fuel sources. Countries in Asia and the Pacific region accounted for almost half the world’s CO2 emissions in 2008. The security of water, food and energy resources in the region has been compromised in parallel with decades of economic development. The fastest increase in water demand in Asia is now coming from the industry and urban households, not agriculture. For decades, economic growth in Asia has required ever-expanding amounts of energy. On food security, over 20 per cent of the undernourished populations live in South and South-West Asia, with the most acute problems in Afghanistan. Currently, there is only rudimentary understanding of the complex and pervasive connections between water, food and energy security in the region. This position paper reviews the region’s experiences with the interlocking effects of the WFE nexus, which results in challenges that cross two or even all three of the domains. Examples include biofuel; hydropower; thermoelectric production and water security; irrigation and food security; irrigation and energy security; food trade and virtual water, land and food security; and the intertwining effect of water production and energy security. The meaning of the nexus is further explored by using two case studies, namely Central Asia and the Mekong Basin. Not surprisingly, in existing policy frameworks, energy and water policies are developed largely in isolation from one another. The concluding section outlines five key areas of policy interventions needed to mainstream the nexus concept in Asia and the Pacific region.

07 Aug 13

Strategy Document

Toward a Sustainable Energy Future for All: Directions for the World Bank Group’s Energy Sector

As global energy markets evolve rapidly, producing and maintaining a reliable power supply for many countries in the developing world remains a significant issue. The World Bank Group will approach this energy crisis in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Client countries focus on universal access, accelerating improvements in energy efficiency, and doubling the global share of renewable energy by 2030. Achieving these goals will help to end extreme poverty, because economic growth and shared prosperity is not possible without access to energy. Even with the proper infrastructure for energy production, prices often remain higher than the global average, resulting in households using self-supplied alternatives such as unclean, diesel generators. To remedy this situation, energy must be distributed and consumed efficiently through programs supported by a sound pricing and tariff policy, by subsidies targeting the poor, and by mechanisms for carbon pricing. The World Bank Group is committed to providing long-term solutions tailored to specific circumstances of each client country in the areas of renewable energy, natural gas, transmission and distribution, regional trade and market integration, financial performance, sector planning, access, and post-conflict reconstruction.

02 Jan 13


Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

The U.S. National Intelligence Council identifies the Water-Energy-Food Nexus as one of the mega trends for the coming decades. “The increasing nexus among food, water, and energy - in combination with climate change - will have far-reaching effects on global development over the next 15-20 years. In a tectonic shift, demand for these resources will grow substantially owing to an increase in the global population from 7.1 billion today to 8.3 billion by 2030.”

20 Dec 12


Energy and Water Supply - Case Studies and Lesons Learnt for Regional Approaches

Opportunities and Technical Solutions to Address Water Shortage in East Africa Through Better Understanding of the Water & Energy Nexus. Held by Dr. Vincent Kitio, Energy Advisor at UN-Habitat, at the African Dialogue on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Nairobi.

19 Dec 12


Power and Water

held by Jasper Oduor, Executive Secretary of the East African Power Pool, at the African Dialogue on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Nairobi.

15 Dec 12


Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. 2012. Presentation from Session 9: Mekong Experiences with Sustainable Hydropower Development

13 Dec 12

Overview of the Water-Energy Nexus in the United States

State legislatures and natural resource managers have traditionally addressed water and energy as two separate issues. However, water and energy are deeply connected and sustainable management of either resource requires consideration of the other. Thus, resource managers and lawmakers across the country are beginning to take a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the management of water and energy. This report provides overview information about the nexus between water and energy and provides a summary of state legislation addressing this issue.

31 Oct 12


A Regional Perspective on Water-Food-Energy

held at the 10th European Conference: The Implementation of the Water Framework Directive Europe‐INBO, by Caner Aktaş, Boğaziçi University

25 Oct 12


Energy-water Nexus: Energy Use in the Municipal, Industrial, and Agricultural Water Sectors

Industrial processes rely on water for cooling, chemical solvents, cleaning, just to name a few. Forty percent of the worlds’ food is produced from irrigated lands. However, much of this would not be possible without energy; which is a critical input to pump, move, and treat the water required by municipalities, industries and agriculture. Ironically, however, much of this energy would not be available without water to turn turbines, wash inputs, or cool equipment. Thus in many cases use of one resource is inextricably linked to use of the other - hence, the energy-water nexus.

25 Oct 12


The Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Climate Change in Southern Africa

Held at the Second Annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa Addis Ababa, 19-20 October 2012, by Gisela Prasad, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

24 Oct 12


Hydroclimatic shifts driven by human water use for food and energy production

Hydrological change is a central part of global change. Its drivers in the past need to be understood and quantified for accurate projection of disruptive future changes. Here we analyse past hydro-climatic, agricultural and hydropower changes from twentieth century data for nine major Swedish drainage basins, and synthesize and compare these results with other regional and global assessments of hydrological change by irrigation and deforestation. Cross-regional comparison shows similar increases of evapotranspiration by non-irrigated agriculture and hydropower as for irrigated agriculture. In the Swedish basins, non-irrigated agriculture has also increased, whereas hydropower has decreased temporal runoff variability. A global indication of the regional results is a net total increase of evapotranspiration that is larger than a proposed associated planetary boundary. This emphasizes the need for climate and Earth system models to account for different human uses of water as anthropogenic drivers of hydro-climatic change. The present study shows how these drivers and their effects can be distinguished and quantified for hydrological basins on different scales and in different world regions. This should encourage further exploration of greater basin variety for better understanding of anthropogenic hydro-climatic change.

15 Oct 12


Water and Energy - Threats and Opportunities

This book creates an awareness of the important couplings between water and energy. It shows how energy is used in all the various water cycle operations and demonstrates how water is used – and misused – in all kinds of energy production and generation. Population increase, climate change and an increasing competition between food and fuel production create enormous pressures on both water and energy availability. Since there is no replacement for water, water security looks more crucial than energy security. This is true not only in developing countries but also in the most advanced countries. The western parts of the USA suffer from water scarcity that provides a real security threat. The book does not aim to show “how to design” or to solve some of the very intricate conflicts between water and energy. Instead it systematically lists ideas, possibilities and a number of results. There are a few more technical chapters that act as entry points to more detailed technical literature - by Gustaf Olsson

11 Oct 12


Water, Energy and Food Nexus

“The nexus approach embeds the opinion water, energy and food security cannot be achieved in single sector methodology. Considering the interlinkages between water, energy and land is crucial for achieving sustainable development objectives.” - Agriwaterpedia is an initiative to foster the provision of approaches and good practices, and to draw data from experiences and lessons learnt from a variety of development countries. The platform is also an instrument to trigger communication and actively promote knowledge exchange.

18 Sep 12

Conference Proceedings

Balancing Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: Focusing on Food-Water-Energy Nexus

A major international conference was held by CEP-BCI in February 2012. The conference benchmarked GMS economic growth between 2001 and 2010 and its impact on environmental and social development as well as provided an outlook for the next decade. Topics discussed included known and emerging economic, environmental, and climate change challenges in the context of food, water and energy security, and participants charted out key strategic thrusts for the coming decade. More than 233 delegates, including senior government officials from the GMS countries, private sector representatives and development partners attended. The conference outcomes have provided important inputs to the GMS program in general, and CEP-BCI Phase II in particular. During the next decade, emphasis will need to be placed on the management of food, water and energy resources in the GMS, which requires a careful balance of economic and environmental interests and better management of natural resources.

17 Sep 12


The Nile Basin - The NEXUS in Science and Research

by Holger Hoff (SEI): Overview, Initial Scenarios, Charles Iceland (WRI): Hydropower, Vulnerability to and Impacts on Water Scarcity, Jakob Granit (SEI/SIWI): Water Energy Nexus Opportunities, Guy Pegram (Pegasys): Water Food Nexus Opportunities, Abby Onencan (Nile Basin Discourse): The Role of Science, Nexus, Cooperation

17 Sep 12

Strategic Analysis Paper

The Food, Energy and Water Nexus (FEW) and Gross National Happiness in Bhutan

The complex interplay of food, energy, and water demand and supply poses numerous policy challenges, especially in the context of expanding population sizes, rising standards of living, and resource management constraints due to sustainable environmental practices.1 Bhutan provides an interesting illustration of how these issues can be addressed holistically, in a relatively socially responsible, economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable way. By Paula Hanasz, Future Directions international

14 Sep 12


Main Outcomes of the High Level Panel on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus at the WWF 2012

by Alain Vidal CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

12 Sep 12


Launching a New Analytical Platform to Explore the Water-Energy Nexus

by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the California Energy Commission

31 Aug 12


Nexus in and nexus-driven connections between river basins: Reflection of global nexus changes in large basins

by Janos J. Bogardi, Executive Officer of GWSP

27 Aug 12


The Water, Energy and Food Nexus

Using nexus thinking around water, energy and food leads to positive feedback loops and a brighter future for all - by SABMiller

16 Aug 12


Large-scale Water Storage in the Water, Energy and Food Nexus. Perspectives on Benefits, Risks and Best Practices

The paper provides an overview of the current status of large scale artificial water storage development and its functions in the water, energy and food security nexus. The paper presents a typology of water storage structures and provides an analysis of the risks, benefits and trade-offs posed by different storage options. It also highlights good practices and lessons learned from past experiences and explores emerging opportunities for water storage schemes to enhance water, energy and food security in the future.

12 Jul 12


Nexus - Linking systems, resources and actors

by Peter Stigson, Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), held on 3 July 2012 at the Chinese Academy of Science, Institute for Policy and Management (CAS/IPM)

05 Jul 12

The World’s Large Dams: Almost 7,000 and Counting

A map of the world’s 6,862 large dams

21 Jun 12

Report of Side Event at Rio+20

Mountain Knowledge Solutions for Sustainable Green Economy and Improved Water, Food, Energy, and Environment Nexus

Co-chaired by Keshab Man Shakya, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Nepal, and Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, this side event highlighted local, national and regional knowledge-based solutions that are inclusive and supportive to the water, food and energy nexus and have promoted green growth strategies and reduced poverty. Organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Government of Nepal, Mountain Partnership, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), EVK2CNR, Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA).

21 Jun 12


Confronting scarcity: Managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth

Presentation on the ERD 2011/12 by Dirk Willem te Velde and Imme Scholz, given at the UNCSD (Rio+20) on 19 June 2012

19 Jun 12

Messages for Rio

Sustainability is Essential for Development

Interview with Stephan Opitz, Director General of KfW, on the Rio+20 conference and the work of KfW. On the occasion of the UN-conference Rio+20 he explains how Germany’s promotional bank implements this task. KfW promotes sustainable projects and programmes in developing and transition countries in areas such as water supply, food security and energy and is in this way supporting a “green economy” in its partner countries.

18 Jun 12

Messages for Rio

A Climate-Safe “Green Economy” Protects Rivers, Rejects Destructive Dams

The twentieth anniversary of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, comes at a time when human-caused emissions have pushed our planet to the brink of a climate crisis. The effects of the global industrial economy brought planetary levels of carbon dioxide to a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to a 2012 International Energy Agency (IEA) report – only 1 Gt below the level that the IEA considers necessary to keep global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C. In response, many governments, banks, and corporations are increasingly looking to large hydropower dams to reduce fossil fuel use. Proponents claim that large hydropower dams will help usher in a “green economy.” Rather than achieving greater protection of the planet’s ecosystems from the demands of growing energy use, this policy direction will put an increasing burden on Earth’s freshwater species and habitats.

18 Jun 12


Contribution of Himalayan Ecosystems to Water, Energy, and Food Security in South Asia: A nexus approach

In the face of climatic and other socioeconomic changes, most South Asian countries having large and growing population, limited land resources, and increasing water stress face a common challenge of how to grow more food with the same or less land, less water, and increased energy prices. This concept paper seeks deeper understanding of the interlinkages among water, energy, and food, which is crucial to formulate cross-sectoral policies for more resilient and adaptable societies. In South Asia, such a nexus approach inevitably needs to take Himalayan ecosystem services into account. Rice and wheat, the staple foods in South Asia, require huge amounts of both water and energy. The Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra plain - the sub-region’s grain basket and one of the world’s largest areas of irrigated agriculture - depends in large part on the Himalayan mountain system as a source of both surface and groundwater for irrigation; as a source of hydropower; and as a regulator of climate and a repository of agro-biodiversity. To sustain these services and to ensure both upstream and downstream food, water, and energy security in South Asia, policies and strategies must therefore promote improved management of Himalayan watersheds, forests, wetlands, and rangelands. Recommended measures include support to restoration of natural water storage capacity; development of climate smart, environmentally and socially sound water infrastructure; adequate investment for natural resource management; and incentives to mountain communities for managing Himalayan ecosystems.

11 Jun 12

Policy Recommendation

Briefing Note “Water for Energy” by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

This paper aims at identifying and recommending best practices and policies from global business to address the water-energy nexus, while outlining potential drivers of innovation.

07 Jun 12

Lessons Learnt

Sharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa

West African countries are planning to construct new large dams in order to meet their energy and water needs and to promote food security against an uncertain backdrop of climate change. If these new dams are to offer development opportunities for all and avoid social conflict over land and water management then lessons need to be learned from past projects.

04 Jun 12

Concept Paper

The Water Security Nexus – Challenges and Opportunities for Development Cooperation

Is water the “gold of the 21st century,” potentially triggering “water wars” between countries sharing the precious resource? Such scenarios proliferated in the 1990s, but today a different paradigm is taking root. Politicians are beginning to emphasise the peace dividend of water cooperation; and development agencies are now supporting transboundary water cooperation projects around the world. And even at the highest level of political discourse, water cooperation has been identified as an entry point for broader peacebuilding.

04 Jun 12

Regional Options for Addressing the Water, Energy and Food Nexus in Central Asia and the Aral Sea Basin

This article explores the water, energy and food nexus in Central Asia as an avenue to seek regional solutions to common challenges. A benefit-sharing scheme was in place between the countries in the Central Asia in the Soviet Union era, but since independence unilateral action has been the norm. It is concluded that a regional integrative approach would be beneficial in the water, energy and food nexus. Collaborative options include exploring existing regional frameworks with a focus on additional investment in hydropower power generation, regional power market development, irrigation reforms, and addressing regional environmental public goods such as water flows and quality.

30 May 12


International Rivers’ Contribution for the Rio+20 Compilation Document

International Rivers welcomes the opportunity of Rio+20 to provide input into this critical process and offers the following comment and recommendations on the conference’s Green Economy theme.

30 May 12


Power and the Water, Food, Energy Nexus

by Andrew Etzinger, ESKOM, held on the SAWEF Conference in South Africa

30 May 12


Water, Energy, Food Nexus: A Perspective Through Eyes of Water Policy

by Dr. Jerome Delli Priscoli, Institute for Water Resources, US Army Corps of Engineers, Governor World Water Council, Editor in Chief Water Policy, held on the SAWEF Conference in South Africa

12 May 12

G-Science Acadmies Statement 2012

Energy and Water Linkage: Challenge to a Sustainable Future

Needs for affordable and clean energy, for water in adequate quantity and quality, and for food security will increasingly be the central challenges for humanity:these needs are strongly linked.

04 May 12


Mekong2Rio Message

Message from the International Conference on Transboundary River Basin Management, Phuket, 1-3 May 2012

26 Apr 12

Draft Agenda

IISD – GWSP Conference on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus

1-4 May 2012 Inn at the Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba

25 Apr 12


Food, Energy and Water – The Meganexus: South Africa at the Stress Epicenter

by Margaret Catley-Carlson, held at the South African Water, Energy and Food Forum: “Managing the Mega-Nexus”, 18-19 April 2012

19 Apr 12

Issue Brief

Water/Energy/Climate Nexus

Water and energy are inextricably linked. Energy is needed to provide freshwater; and water is needed to produce most forms of energy. Climate change will hit through water. Power production is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.

12 Apr 12

The Energy-Water Nexus: Managing the Links between Energy and Water for a Sustainable Future

Water and energy are each recognized as indispensable inputs to modern economies. And, in recent years, driven by the three imperatives of security of supply, sustainability, and economic efficiency, the energy and water sectors have undergone rapid reform. However, it is when water and energy rely on each other that the most complex challenges are posed for policymakers.

28 Mar 12


Putting Nature in the Nexus: Investing in Natural Infrastructure to Advance Water-Energy-Food Security

Nature is the unseen dimension of the nexus. With its functions integral to the three securities and their inter-dependence, nature is part of the infrastructure needed to manage the nexus and its resilience. Nature helps mediate the nexus links, by storing, moving, cleaning and buffering flows of water, making drought and flood less severe, and food and energy production more reliable. Without healthy ecosystems in well-functioning watersheds, the infrastructure built for irrigation, hydropower or municipal water supply does not function sustainably, and is unlikely to achieve the economic returns necessary to justify investments.

27 Mar 12


The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus – Challenges and Opportunities

Presentation at the “Planet under Pressure” Conference, London, 27 March 2012

23 Mar 12


Dams and Development – A New Framework for Decision-making – 2000 WDC Report

“At the heart of the dams debate are issues of equity, governance, justice and power – issues that underlie the many intractable problems faced by humanity.”

19 Mar 12

Case Studies

Water, Food & Energy Nexus

A collection of case studies on the NEXUS presented by CGIAR’s Challenge Programm, the EDF Groupe and the World Water Council on the WWF6

03 Mar 12


Dams Initiative

Dams – Blessing or curse? Over 48,000 large dams are in operation worldwide.

27 Feb 12

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference

Background Paper “Understanding the Nexus” by SEI

This paper is the scientific background paper of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference. It explains the Nexus and presents initial evidence for how a nexus approach can enhance water, energy and food security in a green economy by increasing efficiency, reducing trade-offs, and building synergies across sectors.

16 Nov 11


Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: An Agenda for Change

The EU as a whole is the world’s largest donor and a key trading partner for developing countries. With its broad and ambitious development policies and comprehensive partnerships, the EU it is already making a significant contribution towards the MDGs. But we could have even greater impact.

16 Nov 11


EU Policy on Energy & Development: Update and Outlook

by Rainer Hakala, Energy Unit C.5., Directorate General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, European Commission (EC)


03 Nov 14

River Management

If rivers run dry or we pollute them, it’s not just wildlife that suffers; water companies, farmers and power utilities are affected too. 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. Yet we hear little in nexus debates about these vital freshwater ecosystems. - By Dave Tickner

25 Aug 14


China’s rapidly growing economy is very quickly testing the limits of its resource constraints. While China is home to a quarter of the world’s population, it is endowed with disproportionately less arable land, oil and water. By Julian L. Wong.

27 Jun 14

Water-Energy Nexus and Hydropower

This opinion piece comments on the March 2014 paper “Should we build more large dams? The actual costs of hydropower megaproject development” by Atif Ansar and colleagues published in Energy Policy. By Jerson Kelman, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Former President of Brazilian Water Agency and Brazilian Electricity Agency.

26 Jun 14

Water-Energy Research

This question is answered by two new publications by SNV which analyse how biogas and renewable energy can be used by smallholder farmers for their irrigation needs.

11 Apr 14

Water-Energy Nexus

The energy-water nexus is gaining traction with diverse stakeholders around the world and it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot plan for our planet’s future if we do not consider energy and water together. - By Kate Zerrenner.

27 Mar 14

World Water Day 2014

Solutions to pressing issues must recognize mountains’ integral role in the water-energy-food nexus. - By Aditi Mukherji

25 Mar 14


The theme of this year’s World Water Day has been “Water and Energy.” IFPRI senior researcher Claudia Ringler highlights the potential role of water markets in the water-energy-food nexus under global climate change.

11 Mar 14

Nexus at the Africa Utility Week

“We should galvanize the interest the nexus debate is generating by operationalizing commitments into concrete programmes by building strategic partnerships and alliances as we move into the future,” says Paul T. Yillia, consultant at Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

21 Feb 14


A new web-based knowledge sharing portal on small hydropower that features best practices from different regions of the world has been launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Centre on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP). It contains 20 regional overviews and 149 country-level reports.

28 Nov 13

Water Management Roundtable

Closer regional cooperation of water, energy and environmental sectors on the sustainable use of waters; involvement of private sector in water infrastructure development; and introduction of a regional legal and coordination instrument to ensure achievement of these goals, are key issues South East Europe (SEE) needs to address in water resources management and hydropower production until 2020.

18 Nov 13

Water-Energy Nexus

This new global initiative is led jointly by the Water and Energy Units in the World Bank and will officially be launched at the World Future Energy Summit in January 2014. thirsty energy aims to support client countries in addressing the challenges in energy and water resources development, avoid unsustainable scenarios and break disciplinary silos that prevent cross-sectoral planning.

22 Oct 13

Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions

Nexus insights from the IWA Development Congress in Nairobi, Kenya

10 Oct 13

Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions

Nexus Lessons and Solutions from Bogotà

20 Dec 12

NEXUS Interview

An interview with Jasper Oduor, Executive Secretary of EAPP

28 Jun 12

Nexus at Rio+20

A voice from the ground, Edward Byers, PhD student from Newcastle/UK, gives his view of the NEXUS event at the German Pavilion in Rio.

27 Jun 12

NEXUS Interview

An interview with Albert Butare, Co-Chair of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference and NEXUS ambassador

04 Jun 12

Side Event at the Africa Water Week

“The nexus is an important process which has been started at the Bonn conference and needs to be continued by committed people at all levels in order to effect change”. — by Nicole Kranz

31 May 12

NEXUS Interview

The SEI’s work on the water, energy and food security nexus – an interview with Holger Hoff

12 May 12

G-Science Acadmies Statement 2012

Needs for affordable and clean energy, for water in adequate quantity and quality, and for food security will increasingly be the central challenges for humanity:these needs are strongly linked.

23 Apr 12

So what’s new?

What has brought nexus thinking to the fore, and what does this nexus look like? How does it relate to climate compatible development?

29 Nov 11

Nexus Blog

The flow of water through rivers, lakes and aquifers remains central to the Nexus

22 Nov 11

Nexus Blog

Mountains deserve special attention in the water-food-energy nexus discussions

14 Nov 11

Nexus Blog

Increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewables can directly improve water resource management, thereby also impacting positively on food security

31 Oct 11

Nexus Blog

Solving energy challenges cannot come at the cost of achieving water security goals

26 Oct 11

Nexus Blog

How Water Makes Green Economies a Moving Target

11 Oct 11

Nexus Blog

We only have a limited amount of freshwater on this planet, so how do we use it?

03 Oct 11

Nexus Blog

Why attempts to ensure water, food and energy security should focus on innovative bottom-up strategies rather than large multipurpose projects

Recent NEXUS Events

02 Apr 14

Nexus Debate

On April 2, Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center present the findings of their Choke Point: India initiative, an exploration into the water-energy-food confrontations in the world’s second most populous country.


Side-event at World Water Day 2014

As a side event of the World Water Day 2014, this event focusses on hydropower. The debate will focus on numerous aspects of the topic: research, management, capacity development and many more

Independent Research Forum

The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) are to achieved in 2015 which is just ahead.

05 Mar 14

Side Event at the Nexus Conference

Convened by IUCN, IWA and UNEP. The ecosystem services provided by natural infrastructure underpin water, energy and food security. The services provided by forests, wetlands and floodplains support and complement engineered water, energy and food infrastructure. Without healthy ecosystems in well-functioning watersheds, the infrastructure built for irrigation, hydropower or municipal water supply does not function sustainably and is unlikely to achieve the economic returns necessary to justify investments.

12 Jun 13

Panel at the 16th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum

Canadian and U.S. experts discussed the impact of hydropower of the future energy needs in both countries, their collaboration and new technologies around fresh water, desalinasation, and sewer.

06–08 Nov 13


The roundtable will bring together practitioners and decision makers from from the water resources management and hydropower production community.

01 Sep 13

Seminar at the World Water Week 2013

The seminar will critically look at the nexus between the “new” investments in agricultural land in Nile Basin and regional hydropolitical relations.

29 May 13

Side Event

The Vienna Energy Forum 2013 will focus on the energy dimension captured in the Rio+20 outcome document “The Future We Want” and will facilitate on how energy should be integrated into the post- 2015 global development framework.” During the Forum a side-event about the recent international undertakings and progress on the water-energy-food nexus is taking place.

11–13 Mar 13


This workshop will discuss food security from a nexus perspective with particular emphasis on scientific analysis and evidence as well as generating tools and appropriate responses.

05–06 Dec 12


The 2-day conference in December 2012 will focus on how energy policy and governance are influenced by or influencing water and food sectors. The first day deals mainly with energy governance issues in Asia Pacific countries, but with papers pointing to the importance of Nexus internationally.

13–14 Nov 12


The Second Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy will continue this constructive dialogue on the relationship between the cost and benefits of water development.

04–05 Apr 12


The evidence for climate change is now considered to be unequivocal and it can cause huge impact on global water resources. Substantial adaptation is needed to ensure management of water resources for food, energy and environment.

13 Mar 12

WWF 2012 Marseilles

This panel constitutes a continuation of the dialogue started at the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference and aims to reflect recommendations by the UNSG’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.

NEXUS in the Media

04 Nov 14


Gleick Discusses Water Quality, Quantity, Link to Energy Production

Peter Gleick co-founded and leads the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif., an independent nongovernmental organization specializing in water, sustainability, and economic and environmental justice.

03 Nov 14

Brazil’s Dangerous Climate Spiral

Drought is pushing the Latin giant toward more coal, and that means more carbon emissions. The lack of water has weakened output from the nation’s robust network of hydropower dams, leaving many states switching back to coal and gas for their power and boosting Brazil’s carbon emissions. - By Jason Plautz

23 Oct 14

Odd one out

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

17 Oct 14


Hundreds of Millions of South Asians At Risk from Glacier Melt

Few regions on Earth depend as heavily on glaciers for food, energy and water as South Asia’s Hindu Kush Himalayan ecosystem.

15 Oct 14


Energy Minister: Water shortage at critical stage in 3 provinces

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a dam construction project in Zanjan Province on Sunday, the energy minister added that Tehran, Isfahan, and Kerman provinces are experiencing a critical level of water shortage.

10 Oct 14

Call for coverage subjects

What next for water and sustainability? - your ideas for our coverage

As The Guardian expand their water coverage and explore just how business, alongside governments and NGOs, will address water challenges - they’d like you to tell them what you’d like them to cover

09 Oct 14

Congress needed on water, power

By now most people are all too familiar with the extended drought in the American Southwest. Pictures of wildfires in California, decimated agricultural lands and the effects of a diminishing water supply regularly make the news. What most people might not know, yet just as devastating, is the potential effect of the 14-year drought in the Colorado River basin on the Southwest’s energy supply. Changes in water supply directly affect power systems in the West, and we watch closely as low water levels in Lake Mead could have an impact on the amount of energy generated from the Hoover Dam. By Jon Freedman, GE

07 Oct 14


Water wars: a new reality for business and governments

Violent tensions over water are on the rise, from India to Iraq. The solution lies in good governance and business has a key role to play

31 Aug 14

“Water efficiency should be our goal”, says head of World Water Week

Torgny Holmgren explains why the 2014 theme is energy and water and what impact he hopes this year’s conference will have

26 Aug 14


Final Programme for World Water Week - water-energy nexus is key focus, Stockholm, Sweden

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) has published the Final Programme for World Water Week 2014 which starts on Sunday – this year’s thematic focus is on the energy-water nexus.

25 Apr 14


Water scarcity driving investment in renewables with low water consumption

Energy and water are valuable resources that strongly correlate with economic development. Water and energy are also highly interdependent. In the United States about half of water withdrawals are used for power generation. Water is also used in the extraction, transport and processing of fossil fuels; and, increasingly, in irrigation to grow crops like corn used to produce biofuels.

09 Apr 14

Food and Power in Sri Lanka: The Water Nexus

Sri Lanka is highly dependant on hydro-generation for much of its power needs. Nearly 50 percent of the country’s power is water-based. With the continued drought, power prices are likely to increase as only 13 percent of the country’s power needs are being met. The poorer sections of the country are likely to be hit hardest, as the government is forced to import oil to meet power needs. The water shortages in the past have slowed down economic growth for the water dependant isle.

02 Apr 14


Lebanon faces water crisis

As annual rainfall decreases and water consumption levels rise, Lebanon has fallen below the so-called “water poverty line” and must work to develop innovative solutions to address this crisis. These problems were discussed at a symposium under the title of “Energy-Water Interdependence,” a symposium was held on the occasion of World Water Day.

26 Mar 14


Stakeholders put focus on water, energy nexus

In a debate on World Water Day, South-African officials pointed out that saving water means saving energy, and saving both is crucial for South Africa’s economic development to reach first-world status

12 Mar 14


“The nexus debate at African Utility Week will be specifically about Africa and for Africa”

Paul T. Yillia, consultant at Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) explains in this interview, what nexus topics will be raised on the African Utility Week

10 Mar 14


IEA chief: Only a decade left in US shale oil boom

In this interview, Maria van der Hoeven of IEA points out that the US’s shale gas solution can’t be “copy-and-pasted” to other countries and why she thinks Africa can “leap-frog” in terms of engrgy infrastructure

21 Jan 14

The water-energy challenge is manifold

By Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water. - A sustainable future depends on our capacity to address the water-energy nexus and harness related opportunities. Water and energy are both drivers and inhibitors of economic growth and improvement of human health and well-being. However, decision and policymakers often fail to recognise the interdependencies between the two, sometimes leading to situations where securing one puts the other at risk.

03 Dec 13


Climate change: Severe food, water shortage on the horizon

With a majority of the greenhouse gases to minimize global warming already emitted, South Asia might be particularly hard hit decreases in food production despite population growth

10 Nov 13


Why is Europe failing to take the energy-water connection seriously?

The US has woken up to the interdependence of the economy’s water and energy needs, but Europe appears to still be sleeping.

30 Aug 13

Yosemite fire shows water resources at risk

Rarely has the connection between rural natural resources, water security and urban prosperity been so abundantly clear. We must substantially increase investment in upper watershed and forest management, as well as forest, wet meadow and watershed restoration to reduce risk from catastrophic wildfires and adapt our landscapes to a changing climate.

07 Aug 13

Blog: What do climate change, water and energy have in common? - And the role of renewables in solving the conundrum

What do climate change, water and energy have in common? These seem to be three different concepts. Yet these increasingly hot button issues are, in fact, interdependent. Water and energy are inextricably linked. Water is used in nearly all energy processes, from extraction to electricity production. Energy is used to create fresh water—a process known as desalination. A carbon-intensive energy sector leads to climate change, which, in turn, increases the risks of both water stress and floods, thus affecting water supply and water quality.

25 Jun 13

What do Climate Change, Water and Energy Have in Common?

These seem to be three different concepts. But these increasingly hot button issues are interdependent.

22 Feb 13

Understanding the relationship between water, energy and food security

Recognition and understanding of the closely-bound interaction between water, energy and food production and use – the ‘nexus’ – is established in these sectors, but perhaps for many, ‘this nexus’ is still not entirely understood - by Rebecca Welling, IUCN

21 Feb 13

‘Energy for Water’ May Have Greater Impact on the Nexus

In The Guardian’s series on the water-food-energy nexus, Tim Smedley looks at the amount of energy we use to pump, clean and transport water. The US alone uses 520bn kilowatt‐hours (kWh) to move, treat and heat its water, which accounts for up to 60% of the energy bill in some cities, and 90% of the energy bill on some farms.

12 Feb 13

The Global Scramble for Water, Energy and Food Resources

“Rising interdependence of water, energy, food resources raises security concerns while resource problems that cross boundaries have scaled up in recent years.”

31 Jan 13

Four Ways Water Is Connected To India’s Blackouts

“Following the recent blackouts in India, Robert Kimball discusses the complex relationship between water and power and the dangers of water scarcity in the 21st century.”

14 Jan 13

Clossal Food Waste Hitting Energy, Land and Water Supplies

Energy, water and land are being squandered as the world throws out as much as half the food it produces.

08 Jan 13

Hydro Powered Irrigation System to Enhance Food Security

“Improving irrigation in arable land in the developing world can be an effective way to increase food productivity and thus food security.”

07 Dec 12

Climate targets will not be met without hydropower

The importance of renewable energies to achieving climate change targets and sustainable development was presented by the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) at COP18 in Doha. Programme Director Tracy Lane represented IHA during the side event ‘Towards 100% Renewables: Case studies and examples from regions and municipalities’, which was organised by the REN Alliance.

29 Oct 12

The Energy-Water-Food Conundrum

Do we really understand - or think sufficiently about - the “Energy-Water-Food Nexus”? That was the concern shared during a searching Singapore Energy Summit plenary session on Monday.

23 Oct 12

The Water Food Energy Nexus

Water, food and energy are interconnected. Agriculture accounts for about 70% of global freshwater use and can pollute freshwater supplies if mismanaged. Water is also used to generate electricity: in the USA, power generation accounts for about 50% of all freshwater withdrawals3and drought in countries that use hydropower – Ethiopia and Ghana, for example – can lead to black-outs. Energy, in turn, is needed to fertilise and transport crops, which can themselves be used as biofuel to create energy. Large amounts of energy are also required to pump water to drier regions and, as water scarcity increases, so will the energy needed for technologies such as desalination. - This is good news; the leap forward in quality of life for so many millions is something to celebrate. But this growth could be jeopardised by the resource challenge being felt across the world. The expanding population will need 70% more food, and growing and processing this food will increase water stress. The Water Resources Group, of which SABMiller is a member, estimates that there could be about 40% shortfall between water demand and available freshwater supply by 2030 - by Andy Wales, SAB Miller

22 Oct 12

No Wars for Water - Why Climate Change Has Not Led to Conflict

In short, predictions of a Water World War are overwrought. However, tensions over water usage can still exacerbate other existing regional conflicts. Climate change is expected to intensify droughts, floods, and other extreme weather conditions that jeopardize freshwater quantity and quality and therefore act as a threat-multiplier, making shaky regions shakier -by

08 Oct 12

The Energy-Water Nexus - Using physics and estimation to assess energy, growth, options

The principal challenge of this century, in my view, will be adapting to a life without abundant, cheap fossil fuels. It has been the lifeblood of our society, and turns out to have some really fantastic qualities. The jury is still out as to whether we will develop suitable/affordable replacements. But additional challenges loom in parallel. Water is very likely to be one of them, which is especially pertinent in my region. For true believers in the universality of substitution, let me suggest two things. First, come to terms with the finite compactness of the periodic table. Second, try substituting delicious H2O with H2O2. It has an extra oxygen atom, and we all know that oxygen is a vital requisite for life, so our new product will be super-easy to market. Never-mind the hydrogen peroxide taste, and the death that will surely visit anyone foolish enough to adopt this substitution. Sometimes we’re just stuck without substitutes - by Tom Murphy

17 Sep 12

India’s blackout exposes choice between water and electricity

In India, like in the United States, the power sector is the single largest user of water – more than agriculture. Presuming that India could solve its power problems and build more coal, they would run out of fresh water even faster.

17 Sep 12

Asia’s Water Crisis Needs Urgent Fixing

Asia’s water crisis is at the heart of the world’s water challenges, where the degradation of surface and subterranean water resources threatens the ecosystem. With Asia facing the world’s lowest per capita access to fresh water, the continent’s ever-deeper search for water is sucking groundwater reserves dry with millions of pump-operated wells even as it confronts river depletion. Groundwater is recklessly exploited because it is not visible to the human eye. What is out of sight tends to be out of mind, as people drill ever deeper into the receding water table. At least seven factors have contributed to the rising economic and security risks linked with the Asian water crisis.

17 Sep 12

Climate change challenges power plant operations

Drought and rising temperatures are forcing water managers across the country to scramble for ways to produce the same amount of power from the hydroelectric grid with less water, including from behemoths such as the Hoover Dam. Hydropower is not the only part of the nation’s energy system that appears increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, as low water levels affect coal-fired and nuclear power plants’ operations and impede the passage of coal barges along the Mississippi River.

06 Sep 12

Beyond buzzwords: Turning nexus thinking into nexus action

By Stuart Orr, Freshwater Manager, WWF International, and David Grant, Senior Manager: Water Risk and Partnerships, SABMiller

29 Aug 12

Stockholm and the Nexus

A summary of the Stockholm Water Week’s discussions on the NEXUS on 28 August 2012.

27 Jun 12

Sustainable agriculture needs integrated solutions

In its RIO+20 Call-to-action, CGIAR called for “adopting cross-sectoral approaches which facilitate broader partnerships, coordinated regulatory frameworks and appropriate economic incentives. We need the vision and courage to transcend conventional sectoral approaches and apply integrated thinking to the management of agriculture, aquaculture, livestock, forests and water.” AlertNET wanted to find out more, and talked to Stephen Hall (Director General, WorldFish Center), Papa Seck (Director General, Africa Rice Center), Tony Simons (Director General, World Agroforestry Centre), Alain Vidal (Director, Challenge Program on Water and Food – CPWF), Amy Duchelle (Research Fellow, Center for International Forestry Research - CIFOR) and from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture - IITA), we have Peter Neuenschwander (Scientist Emeritus) and Piet van Asten (Systems Agronomist).

18 Jun 12

Interview: Integrated water management pivotal to sustainable development: UNESCO official

Management of water resources needs “substantial improvement and actual reform in many countries,” and an integrated management is significant for “the most valuable natural resources,” Olcay Unver from the UNESCO’s water assessment program told Xinhua. “There has been some improvement over the the past decade or so, but we would very much like to see this expedited mostly by national government,” the director of UENSCO Program Office for Global Water Assessment said in a recent interview.

18 Jun 12

There is an urgent need for policy cohesion on water and energy that does not exist today

If Europe is serious about reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels and reaching its target for renewable energy (20% of supplies by 2020), policymakers must understand that water is a central component of tomorrow’s energy mix. Water is critical for fuel production and power generation, and hydropower systems can store energy efficiently.

04 Jun 12

Tödlicher Fortschritt am Turkana-See

Hunderttausenden Menschen droht eine ökologische Katastrophe: Ein gigantischer äthiopischer Staudamm könnte dazu führen, dass der Turkana-See in Kenia noch weiter austrocknet. Die Region gilt jetzt schon als eine der gewalttätigsten Afrikas - die Konflikte würden sich weiter verschärfen.

22 May 12

Bring the Water-Energy Nexus to Rio+20

Global demand for energy will increase 30 percent by 2030, according to estimates, but in regions that are experiencing rapid economic growth, the increased demand for energy will lead to increased demand for water. The conflicting nature of achieving both water and energy security is exacerbated by a lack of institutional policy frameworks that integrate both concepts. However, the upcoming UN Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference could provide an opportunity to change that.

15 May 12

Scientists urge action on world’s biggest problems

Scientists from 15 countries are calling for a better political response to the provision of water and energy to meet the challenge of feeding a world of 9 billion people within 30 years.

15 May 12

Science academies call for action on global challenges

National science academies of 15 countries issued joint statements today calling on world leaders about to meet at the upcoming G8 Summit and other international gatherings this year to give greater consideration to the vital role science and technology could play in addressing some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

07 May 12

Opening the floodgates – A giant dam is about to be built. Protests are about to erupt

In December the Mekong River Commission (MRC), an intergovernmental body made up of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, called again for approval of a potentially devastating dam at Xayaburi in northern Laos to be withheld until more is known about its effect on the lower Mekong. But now CH. Karnchang, a Thai construction giant contracted to build a $3.8 billion dam at Xayaburi has told the Bangkok Stock Exchange that dam construction officially began on March 15th, and that 5,000 workers have just been hired.

24 Apr 12

Conference highlights vitality of alternate energy resources

The alternate energy sources in Pakistan need to be utilized in order to meet the demand of the country. Pakistan is amongst the countries that divert the maximum amount of water for irrigation but has the minimum water productivity and researchers need to make their contribution in optimal use of water resources.

17 Apr 12

Getting to grips with the water-energy-food “nexus”

The ‘nexus’ has become a popular buzz word to describe the complex linkages among water, energy and food security – sectors that have traditionally remained fairly separate. Talk of the water-energy-food nexus was a hot topic at last month’s Planet Under Pressure conference; it is also the focus of a significant German government-organised input to the UN Rio+20 Summit. What has brought nexus thinking to the fore, and what does this nexus look like? How does it relate to climate compatible development?

26 Mar 12

World Water Day Message: Integrated thinking to address water and food security challenges

“The WFE nexus is an approach to balance development priorities in a more integrated manner. The approach supports a transition to sustainability, by reducing trade-offs and generating additional benefits that outweigh the transaction costs associated with stronger integration across sectors,” write Alain Vidal

19 Mar 12

Joined-up thinking on water, energy and food

Africa’s third longest river, the Niger, is a source of water, food and energy for nine West African countries. But frequent droughts induced by a changing climate, and exacerbated by rapidly growing demand, pose a threat to water availability and livelihoods. However, countries and communities can overcome the problem of how to share water resources if they adopt what scientists call “the nexus approach”, a key agenda item at the week-long Water Forum in Marseilles, France.

15 Mar 12

Food, Energy and Water: The Nexus Determining Our Future

“Never had I imagined before that representatives of countries, international organizations, and private and public sectors would agree on unifyng and synchronizing their efforts under the threat of a common enemy: Water Scarcity.”

14 Mar 12

Controversial dam projects – in pictures

The Guardian takes a look at some of the world’s most contentious dam projects, from the Three Gorges in China to Brazil’s Belo Monte dam

05 Mar 12

A damming assessment of Mekong development

Dams on tributaries worse for fish than those on the main river


  • 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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