event 01 nov. 2020

Tool // The WEF Nexus Index

The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Index is a national-level composite indicator founded on 21 relevant indicators. This website provides a user-friendly visualisation of the index and an entry point into the underlying hierarchical dataset, including pillars (water, energy, and food), sub-pillars (access and availability), and the constituent indicators.

category Tools and Databases tag Nexus methodology tag Modelling and assessment
WEF Nexus Index

©WEF Nexus Index

*The information on the WEF Nexus Index tool was updated in June, 2022.

The WEF Nexus Index has been developed following the methodology developed by the European Commission JRC Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards. This composite indicator utilises the multi-centric WEF nexus as its conceptual framework and aggregates 21 globally available indicators.

The WEF Nexus Index was originally calculated for 171 nations with 2019 data using the COIN Excel Tool. It was subsequently recalculated for 181 nations using 2019 data, with the COINr tool. The revised data was updated on the WEF Nexus Index website on 7 March 2022.

Explore the WEF Nexus data

How do countries rank?

Countries can be ranked by the WEF Nexus Index or the water, energy, or food pillars. Countries can further be functionally compared among the resources and sorted according to regions.

How are countries trending?

Trend data per country is currently available for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

How do countries cluster?

The WEF Nexus Index, pillars and Gross Domestic Product, Human Development Index or Sustainable Development Index are plotted per country relative to one another.

Figure 1: Explore the WEF Nexus Index by resource on the website.

Mandate of the WEF Nexus Index

Since 2011 the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus has gained prominence as a lens for assessing integrated resource management and sustainable development (Front. Environ. Sci. 2019 Vol 7:8; Front. Environ. Sci. 2019 Vol 7:86). In recent years there has, however, been a call to move from ‘nexus thinking’ to ‘nexus action’ (Cosust 2019 Vol 40:117-123). One means of integrating resource sectors, which are measured in different units and time scales, is through the development of a composite indicator. To this end, the WEF Nexus Index has been developed (WRC Report no. 2959/1/19) following the methodology developed by the European Commission JRC Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards.

This composite indicator, which utilises the multi-centric WEF nexus as its conceptual framework, and is comprised of the three resource sectors i.e. Water, Energy and Food as equal pillars/sub-indices. Each resource sector is, in turn, made up of ‘access’ and ‘availability’ sub-pillars, which are also weighted equally. Following a review of 87 globally available indicators, 21 relevant indicators were selected to construct the WEF Nexus Index (as presented in Figure 1). Sufficient data is available for the composite indicator to be determined for 170 nations for current (2019) data availability. The WEF Nexus Index should not be viewed as an end in itself, but rather as an entry point into the underlying pillars, sub-pillars and indicators. It can also catalyse, or be utilised in parallel with, complementary quantitative and qualitative nexus assessments. For further information regarding the development of the WEF Nexus Index refer to the OSF PrePrint or the WRC Report.

Figure 2: Pillars, sub-pillars and indicators that constitute the WEF Nexus Index

Further Information

Find further information and access the tool on the WEF Nexus Index website.

Click on Insights and News to stay up to date on the WEF Nexus Index and relating activities.

Get to the publication related to research on the WEF Nexus Index "The Water-Energy-Food Nexus Index: A Tool to Support Integrated Resource Planning, Management and Security".

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Cecilia Vey

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