The demand for water, energy, and food resources increased in tandem with the world’s population, industrialization, and urbanization. Anthropogenic sources of environmental pollutants degrade the water resources while population expansion contributes to rising demand for non-renewable energy resources which further enhances the greenhouse gas emissions. Also, maintaining the food security/-safety is another challenge which needs to be addressed for securing ‘planetary public health’. The sustainability programs, pragmatic studies, and strategies from regulatory/scientific institutions attempt to reduce the depletion of these resources and mitigate environmental challenges however, the individualistic approaches proves to be inadequate. Therefore, the present review emphasizes the use of Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus as a tool to combat environmental degradation, address climate action, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this article, we investigate methodological paradigm and application of WEF Nexus in an inter-related framework through case studies on water resources, energy efficiency, urban food production, food waste reduction, cross-sectoral perspectives, and the circular economy. It has been widely observed that excessive exploitation of these resources influences the global food supply and demand, water availability, resilience in energy and socio-economic sector.
Also, such perturbations in water, energy, and food sectors were found to be inextricably linked with climate change. The results further revealed that WEF nexus approach stimulates multilevel and inter-sectoral governance, thereby aiding to address the complexities and inefficiencies in achieving the SDGs. The prioritization of WEF Nexus strategy, especially under the event of COVID-19 can be a holistic approach to sustainably utilise natural resources to help achieve the environmental sustainability.
Energy Nexus (Science Direct)