The Growth and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Seminar // The Growth and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Achieving inclusive green growth for all is the optimal path to true sustainable development, which combines inclusive economic growth and human development with environmental and social sustainability. But green growth requires water security as an input to human and economic development.

Water is a key aspect of green growth and the common denominator across economic sectors including energy, industry, agriculture, and the better use and valuing of ecosystems. Countries are going through unprecedented pressures as growing populations and economies demand more water. Today, 80% of diseases in the developing world are caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation, and a lack of hygiene education.

By 2050, feeding a planet of 9 billion people will require a doubling of current water inputs to agriculture while increasing water efficiency. Climate change is already causing more droughts and floods that destroy local economies. At the same time, groundwater is being depleted faster than it is being replenished. If countries do not manage water adequately they will not be able to achieve inclusive green growth. Increasingly, more countries realize that successfully addressing these complex challenges of energy security and food security within the uncertainty posed by climate change requires a dramatic shift in the way they manage water.

A new global green deal is needed to stimulate policy for sustainable green growth that includes building the necessary information systems to support decision-making and political decisions to optimize water allocations, strengthening the institutional framework for water management and investing in smart infrastructure. In this context, generating innovative approaches and evidence-based tools that assess the economic and social tradeoffs of water constraints in energy and food security, and demonstrating the importance of integrated planning of energy, food and water investments in achieving green growth becomes imperative.

About the Lecturer

Diego Rodríguez works at the World Bank providing operational support in efficiency improvements in water supply and sanitation and he is doing policy and analytical work on the economics of adaptation to climate change in water and in wastewater financing. He has an international and extensive career. He worked at the Inter-American Development Bank for 15 years and at the Danish Hydraulic Institute for two. He has 18 years of international experience. Also, he holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, a graduate degree in Applied Economics from the Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands).


University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Auditorium (room 1044) Centennial Engineering Center UNM


Milly Ledwtih, phone: 505-724-4777


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DutchDubai // The Interconnection of Water, Energy and Food presented at the Dutch Pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE

The Dutch pavilion in the World Expo, hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, will focus on the interconnection of water, energy and food. As the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, the Netherlands wants to support collaboration as well as minimising the footprint of our interactive ecosystem by building the pavilion with local resources and locally rented building materials.

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