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Resource

Free Online edX Course // Sustainable Development: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Securing the supply of water, energy, and food is one of the greatest global challenges of our time. Learn all about sustainable development and global changes in this free online course.

About this course

This course focuses on sustainable development and global changes - vital issues for humanity. There is specific attention paid to the challenges in developed and developing countries and their transition from unsustainable to sustainable practices.

The course is an introduction to sustainable development and its relation to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. This connection between three critical resources offers a conceptual tool for achieving sustainable development. It has become increasingly important to understand the interdependencies and interrelationships between the three resources. Finding new approaches to manage the nexus could contribute significantly to achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Topics of this course include

  • Finding new ways to face water challenges and opportunities
  • Renewable energies
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Rethinking established ways of resources management
  • Types of virtual water
  • The interrelationship between local and global challenges and economic as well as population growth
  • The role of technology in the WEF nexus as well as managing the nexus at local, regional, and global levels.

This course gives you a solid understanding of the connection between water, energy, and food, and enables you to manage resources in a sustainable and effective way. You’ll build skills and knowledge that are key for sustainable development into the future.

What you'll learn

  • Global challenges and their limited resources
  • How human activities can affect the climate change
  • The concept of sustainable development and global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Water scarcity, virtual water, and water footprint
  • How to deal with energy challenges and opportunities
  • The 'nexus' between water, energy, and food (WEF) and their security
  • Desalination in the framework of the WEF nexus
  • Dealing with the WEF nexus at local and regional levels

Instructor

Hani Sewilam, Dr.-Ing.RWTH Aachen University

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Research Papers, Publications and Books

Towards Bridging the Water Gap in Texas // A Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach

By: Bassel Daher, Sang-Hyun Lee, Vishakha Kaushik, John Blake, Mohammad H.Askariyeh, Hamid Shafiezadeh, Sonia Zamaripa, Rabi H. Mohtar. The 2017 Texas Water Development Board's State Water Plan predicts a 41% gap between water demand and existing supply by 2070. This reflects an overall projection, but the challenge will affect various regions of the state differently.

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Research Papers, Publications and Books

The Water‐Energy Nexus of Hydraulic Fracturing // A Global Hydrologic Analysis for Shale Oil and Gas Extraction

By: Lorenzo Rosa, Maria Cristina Rulli, Kyle Frankel Davis and Paolo D'Odorico. The authors present a global analysis of the impact of shale oil and gas extraction on water resources, particularly on irrigated crop production. Using a water balance analysis, they find that large areas underlain by shale deposits are either already affected by water stress or would become water stressed in the event that local water resources were to be used for shale oil or gas extraction.

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Videos

Video // The Alberta Water Nexus: Energy, Food, and People

Most of your daily decisions influence the demand for water. The interconnected system of food, energy, and people relies on the water in our basin. The amount of water is limited, so all the players in this system must cooperate to share our water resources.

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