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Resource  |  , Research Papers, Publications and Books  |  , Central Asia  |  11 Dec 2017

Transboundary Rivers // Transferable Principles for Managing the Nexus: Lessons from Historical Global Water Modelling of Central Asia

The complex relationships within the water-energy-food security nexus tend to be place-specific, increasing the importance of identifying transferable principles to facilitate implementation of a nexus approach. This paper aims to contribute transferable principles by using global model data and concepts to illustrate and analyze the water history of Central Asia.

This approach builds on extensive literature about Central Asia and global change as well as recent advances in global water modeling.

Decadal water availability and sectorial water consumption time series are presented for the whole 20th century, along with monthly changes in discharge attributable to human influences. Concepts from resilience and socio-ecological system theory are used to interpret the results and identify five principles relevant to managing the transboundary nexus:

  • (1) the subsystems included/excluded from the nexus are case-specific and should be consciously scrutinized;
  • (2) consensus is needed on what boundaries can acceptably be crossed within the nexus;
  • (3) there is a need to understand how reducing trade-offs will modify system dependencies;
  • (4) global stakeholders have both a responsibility and right to contribute to the shaping of the nexus;
  • (5) combining data with global and local perspectives can help to enhance transferability and understanding of shared problems in our globalized world.


MDPI website (PDF)


October 2016


Water 2015, 7, 4200-4231.
This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Large Asian River Basins

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Resource  |  , Infographics  |  18 Apr 2018

A Simple Shift to More Sustainable Eating // Plant-based Burger Could Save Emissions Equal to 2 Million Cars

By Richard Waite, Daniel Vennard and Gerard Pozzi. Americans eat approximately 10 billion burgers each year. Replacing 30 percent of the beef in those burgers with mushrooms would, according to a study by the World Research...› more

Research Papers, Publications and Books  |  , Resource  |  , MENA  |  17 Apr 2018

Nexus in the MENA Region // Assessment of the Water-Energy Nexus in the Municipal Water Sector in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

By Homoud Al-Mutrafi, Waleed Al-Zubari, Alaa El-Sadek and Ibrahim Abdel Gelil. This paper performs an assessment of the water-energy nexus in the municipal sector of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where the electric energy...› more

Policy Papers  |  , Resource  |  , South America  |  17 Apr 2018

Strengthening Climate Resilience in Urban Amazonia // Experiences from Tarapoto and the Cumbaza Watershed in San Martín, Peru

This brief presents a Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus case study of the Cumbaza River watershed in San Martin, Peru. The dynamic socio-ecological pressures and complex water-energy-food system interdependencies that exist in...› more