The Nexus Platform is enabled by

This project is co-funded by the European Union
Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung

Policy Papers  |  , Resource  |   8 Mar 2018

Upper River Basin Watersheds // Sustainable, Equitable and Profitable Interventions

The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) has conducted innovative research in the upper watersheds of the Ganges, Mekong, Red and Nile river basins. WLE sought to identify how to improve people’s livelihoods in ways that are equitable, profitable and sustainable, while also improving ecosystem services locally and downstream. The research specifically examined the impact of interventions spanning several sectors, including water, food, energy and trade. This brief presents results, insights and tools that can be adopted and applied elsewhere. Escaping from the confines of narrow sectoral investments and adopting an integrated, ecosystems-focused approach can lead to more sustainable, profitable and equitable use and development of upper watershed landscapes.


  • Design infrastructure investments in upper watersheds in collaboration with local communities, based on an integrated ecosystem services and inter-sectoral ‘nexus perspective’.
  • Design and implement upper watershed interventions that prioritize benefitting upstream as well as downstream people.
  • Provide training and support both to strengthen the institutional capacities of local communities to engage effectively with others in planning and managing infrastructure projects, and to encourage ‘citizen science’ in collaboration with external scientific expertise.
  • Use trade and marketing policies to promote sustainable intensification of agriculture, other ecosystem services and food security.
  • In upper watersheds where communities are highly dependent on springs for water, adapt and make use of participatory interdisciplinary methodologies to identify and implement actions to ensure they will remain productive.



January 2018


Towards Sustainable Intensification: Insights and Solutions Brief 6
DOI: 10.5337/2018.205


CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)

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Resource  |  , Slides  |  19 Mar 2018

Presentation // Pathways for a More Efficient Water-Energy Nexus

By Salvador B. Rodriguez. Proposed for presentation at the 2016 Energy Policy Research Conference held 8-9 Sep 2016 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.› more

Policy Papers  |  , Resource  |  17 Mar 2018

Saving Watts to Save Drops // Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs

By Weston Berg and David Ribeiro. This study provides an overview of practices for quantifying and reporting avoided energy-water costs from demand-side measures. It also summarises the regulatory guidance for incorporating water...› more

Research Papers, Publications and Books  |  , Resource  |  17 Mar 2018

Sustainable Resource Use in the Global Water-Food-Energy Nexus // Advances in Process-based Integrated Assessment Modelling

By D.L. Bijl. Most of humanity's basic needs are related to the commodities water, food and energy. Driven by economic development and population growth, the use of water, food and energy has continued to increase rapidly during...› more