Online debate organised by The Guardian. With demand for the world's three most precious resources only set to grow, a new approach must be put into action. In the past, water, food and energy have too often been dealt with as separate issues. Biofuels are a classic example. Once the great hope for sustainable energy, bio-diesel's insatiable appetite for wheat saw global food prices spike in 2008 and 2011, causing civil unrest. Panicked into action, the international community spoke out at the German government's Bonn 2011 conference and the water-food-energy nexus.
In 2019, World Water Week will explore an inclusive approach. This week’s theme: “Water and society – including all” is recognizing that not everybody is impacted in the same way by too little, too much or too dirty water. Less obvious than last year, the Nexus approach will remain at the heart of the water debate, especially through the seminar topic "Addressing migration through regional integration and water security for all", that explicitly connects water, energy and food security as the...// more
Regional economic integration can foster transboundary water management as well as energy and food security. It also attracts investments that address infrastructure deficits, accelerates participation in global and regional value chains, and stimulates economic growth. All are important entry points for sustainable development. However, environmental and social co-benefits are typically not as well quantified as economic growth.// more
Storage to stabilize water availability is essential to sustain water, food and energy production, reduce hazards, and adapt to climate change. Regulation of water resources using dams and reservoirs played a major role in the socio-economic development of northern countries during the 20th century, but practices of the time often led to undesired environmental and social impacts. Thousands more dams and reservoirs are planned for construction in the next decades, mainly in Asia, Africa, and...// more