Water in the green economy

Nexus: Water, Energy and Food Security // Water in the green economy

There are strong reasons for a new approach to the issue of sustainable water management

The "green economy" concept opens a new perspective on the role of sustainable water management. It centres on the interdependency of the water, agriculture and energy sectors and therefore seeks common solutions.

The concept flows from the insight that the question of using water sustainably cannot be regarded in isolation but must be related to ecologically sound growth of core sectors of the economy and sustainable economic development.

Underlying this approach is the assumption that the main water-using sectors of energy and agriculture share with the actors responsible for managing water resources a common interest in protecting these resources and using them sustainably. After all, development objectives in the spheres of energy security, food security and access to drinking water critically depend on whether water is available in sufficient quantity and quality.

<<fotos/charts/01/nexus_en_450_b.jpg|c|*Source: Secretariat of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference, results of the first meeting of German Advisory Group (DBK) and International Steering Committee (ISC)>>

So far, however, the international dialogue between the three sectors — water, agriculture and energy — has lacked the necessary focus. There has also been a failure to examine frameworks and incentives that can ensure an efficient use of resources involving all three sectors.

Finding common solutions for the three sectors is of major importance to creating a "green economy" that can act in the areas of (i) resource efficiency, (ii) green investment and (iii) ecosystem services.

The first task for the experts, however, is to work out how sustainable and cross-sector management of water resources can contribute to environmentally sound growth and efforts to combat underdevelopment and poverty. The results will then be translated into concrete solutions and strategies and brought into the international discussion.

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