Resource

Commentary // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Framework for facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue

By Rabi H. Mohtar and Bassel Daher. Present policy making often lacks the necessary mechanisms to incorporate the interlinkages between water, energy and food. The different institutions governing resource allocation often do not communicate with one another, creating a lack of integrated planning, allocation nd management of these key resources. Although the scientific community has made serious efforts to identify and quantify the interlinkages between resource systems, there continues to be a wide gap between science and policy making in effectively communicating those findings for proper incorporation in planning agendas.

This science-to-policy gap could be reduced through improved exchange and the integration of scientific data and policy considerations into inclusive tools that address policy objectives and are technically viable from the perspective of sustainable resource utilization.

Global debates have placed economic security, in which water, energy and food security are the main constituent pillars, on a par with physical security threats, such as terrorism and disease. Water, energy and food security are high on the agendas of global think tanks – identified as critical, interconnected risks that need to be addressed.

The InterAction Council identified the water-energy-food nexus as one of the major risks facing our global community, alongside religious divides and nuclear proliferation. Moreover, Global Risk reports from 2007 through 2015 highlight food crises, water scarcity and energy shocks among the top five risks to the modern world in terms of likelihood and impact.

Awareness of the volume of present and expected challenges has grown in multiple circles, including academic, policy, business, and civil society. Nevertheless, the tools and mechanisms to ensure that these challenges are properly addressed have yet to be developed.

In general, policy and decision makers lack access to a set of comprehensive tools that:

  • are inclusive of all stakeholders and correspond to the multi-scale nature of the nexus, from local to regional, national, or global
  • are able to define and quantify the interconnectivity between water, energy and food resources
  • include integrative and holistic management strategies to plan for future allocation of these resources.

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Texas A&M University (TAMU) website (open access)

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SDGs

WEFE Nexus Publication // European Commission Position Paper on the WEFE Nexus and the SDGs

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) have recently launched a Position Paper on the Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Highlighting the key outcomes of exchanges with experts held in 2018, the Paper aims to launch a dialogue on how to operationalise the WEFE Nexus.

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

JRC Technical Report // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

By Kougias I., Szabó S., Scarlat N., Monforti F., Banja M., Bódis K., Moner-Girona M. Mitigating the big challenges of access to clean water, energy and poverty in Africa requires integrated solutions. The analysis of issues related to the water, energy, food and the ecosystem through a nexus approach, has attracted the interest of scientists, policy-makers and the private sector. The present Technical Report examines the potential of such an approach to create beneficial synergies between the...

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Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model...

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