event 23 Nov 2021

Research Article // The water-energy-food nexus in Kazakhstan: challenges and opportunities

By Marat Karatayev and colleagues. This paper highlights two key challenges in the future availability and sustainable use of water resources in Kazakhstan. Firstly, the country is going through a process of rapid economic and population growth, while also setting ambitious targets for carbon emissions reduction. Secondly, the current infrastructure and resource management are characterised by significant inefficiencies which have already resulted in high water losses and water scarcity. Through a case-study, this study shows that if current practices in the energy system are maintained, there is significant risk of increasing water stress if decisions on new energy infrastructure are taken without considering the availability and other uses of the water resources in the country.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books tag Nexus Methodology tag Governance tag Governance of the Nexus tag Urban Nexus globe Asia globe Central Asia
Kasakhstan stock image

Mountain valley/lake in Kazakhstan @Pikoso/Shutterstock


The concept of the water, energy, food nexus is extremely relevant to Kazakhstan as the country faces population growth, economic progress and environmental challenges such as water scarcity, desertification, and climate change. Furthermore, poor sectoral coordination and inadequate infrastructure have caused unsustainable resource use and threaten the long-term water, energy and food security in Kazakhstan. This study presents the key elements required to implement a nexus-based resource management approach in Kazakhstan, by identifying linkages between water resources, energy production and agriculture. A case study illustrates how this methodology can be applied to quantify linkages between the water and energy sectors.


September 2017.


Energy Procedia.


Karatayev, M., Rivotti, P., Mourão, Z. S., Konadu, D. D., Shah, N., & Clarke, M. (2017). The water-energy-food nexus in Kazakhstan: challenges and opportunities. Energy Procedia, 125, 63-70.


The full article is available for download here.

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