The United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) was held on September 23 2021 and brought together the voices of youth, farmers, indigenous peoples, researchers, small business owners, and policymakers to discuss how to adapt food systems so that they meet the needs of everyone. Summit planners named five action tracks where adaptation is needed most. However, water is not named in any of them, despite its omnipresent nature in food systems.
What is a food system without water and energy? Both elements are essential for growing, cleaning, and cooking. In order for sustainable food systems adaptation to occur, the water, food, energy (WEF) Nexus must be considered holistically. Without water, crops cannot grow. Energy is needed to pump water for irrigation, while biowaste must be recycled in a safe manner to avoid contamination. When all this is considered, the WEF nexus has the ability to advance more equitable livelihoods and ensure food and water security in the face of a changing climate.
This image illustrates some of the many ways that water and energy interact with our food systems. Click on the icons to learn more about the methods through which IWMI engages at these intersections within the WEF Nexus.
View the infographic here.