event 27 avr. 2021

Publication // The water-energy-food nexus and COVID-19: Towards a systematization of impacts and responses

By Mohammad Al-Saidi and Hussam Hussein. The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to examine the impacts of system-wide crises on key supply sectors such as water, energy and food. This paper provides a holistic assessment of the implications of COVID-19 on the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books tag Health tag Covid19
Vera davidova cuz H5 S 8 ZOQ unsplash

(c) Vera Davidova on Unsplash

Highlights

  • A systematization of the impacts of COVID-19 on the WEF nexus is needed.
  • Medicalization, demand fluctuations and production (re)localization are key impacts.
  • Priority cross-links include water and energy for local food and energy-wastewater.
  • The analysis shows varying adaptations and a re-valuation of water-food-trade link.
  • COVID-19 reveals a lack of risk-based analyses and spatial aspects in the WEF nexus.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to examine the impacts of system-wide crises on key supply sectors such as water, energy and food. These sectors are becoming increasingly interlinked in environmental policy-making and with regard to achieving supply security. There is a pressing need for a systematization of impacts and responses beyond individual disruptions. This paper provides a holistic assessment of the implications of COVID-19 on the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus. First, it integrates the academic literature related to single cases and disruptions to provide a broader view of COVID-19 demand- and supply-side disruptions and immediate effects. Then, the major, long-term impact categories of medicalization/hygienization, (re)localization of production, and demand fluctuations are highlighted. These impacts result in priority cross-links such as irrigation, energy requirements for local food production, energy use for water and wastewater treatment, or water for energy use. Finally, sector-level insights on impacts and responses are provided, drawing from illustrative cases. The analysis of impacts of COVID-19 on the WEF nexus reflects heterogeneous experiences of short-term adaptations, and highlights the revaluation of the water–food–trade nexus. Revived debates on food sufficiency can benefit from green applications to minimize expected trade-offs. The current crisis also reveals some gaps in the WEF nexus debates with regard to the lack of risk-based perspectives and the need for a better consideration of spatial aspects in resource integration. Regarding resource-security issues in the WEF nexus, the COVID-19 stress test boosts debates concerning the adequacy of the production value chains (e.g., contingency and storage, diversification, and self-sufficiency) and the value of cross-border integration (e.g., trade, globalization, and aid).

Published

2021

By

Science of The Total Environment - Volume 779, 20 July 2021

Download

The water-energy-food nexus and COVID-19: Towards a systematization of impacts and responses

Related Publications

Contact

Tina Schmiers

Bulletin d'information

Restez informé!

Nous vous informons sur les projets, les évènements, les actions, les publications et les nouvelles en cours !