Nexus Blog // Outcomes of the third Nexus Latin America Virtual Forum

How can the Nexus perspective help to find synergies between the water, agriculture and energy sector and mititage potential risks for a sustainable water basin management? The third Regional Virtual Forum of Nexus in Latin America and Caribbean was dedicated to shed light on that, by bringing together expert panelists from Latin America and Europe and more than 80 participants from over 70 organizations, including the public and private sector, academia, and civil society.

The virtual forum was carried out in the context of the WEF Nexus GIZ GADER-ALC Sectoral Network workstream on January 14, 2020, with the collaboration of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, UN-ECLAC (CEPAL for its acronym in Spanish). Presentations included case studies in Peru, Chile, and southeastern European countries, as well as an analysis of the required governance structures to foster a Nexus approach in watershed management, looking at basin level organizational structures in various countries of the region. Through activities such as the virtual forum series, the GIZ Nexus Dialogue Latin America supports an interactive online exchange between experts throughout the region.




Antonio Levy, regional coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in Latin America, welcomed the audience and introduced the agenda and panelists of the virtual forum.

The first presentation on the Santa Eulalia sub-basin in Peru demonstrates the Nexus approach from inception to implementation, incorporating stakeholder engagement, governance analysis, resource flow analysis, dialogue, and use of integrated models and indicators for quantifying linkages and benefits. It was presented by Reinaldo Peñailillo, Senior Consultant for Deltares in Delft, Netherlands. Santa Eulalia is part of the Rimac river basin, which spans 1,098 km2, including several hydroelectric facilities, which produce approximately 70% of the energy provided  to Lima (447 MW). Approximately 35,000 inhabitants depend on the basin for small-scale agriculture and livestock production.. A considerable challenge lies in balancing the needs for human consumption, energy production, water for irrigation and livestock, and adaptation to climate change.  Several programs have been created in cooperation with local communities to improve management practices, including creation of conservation areas, reforestation, improvements in livestock management, regulation of water drainage, and over 700 small green infrastructure projects.  Looking forward, challenges include establishing appropriate governance structures, improving agricultural practices, and establishing clear Nexus indicators for integrated water resource management.

A Nexus case study of south eastern European countries (including Albania, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, etc.) was presented by Dr. Guido Schmidt of Fresh Thoughts Consulting Gmbh, from Madrid, Spain.  Six countries were analyzed by using a Nexus methodology to determine the level of WEF Nexus integration in the management of natural resources.  Six key Nexus conflicts/trade-offs were highlighted by Dr. Schmidt in the region, such as the over-allocation of water resources to different uses, an increasing flow regulation by hydropower which negatively affects nature conservation areas, and an increasing use of energy in the food production process (e.g. for irrigation, fertilization, transport).  Current best practices include, among others,  the establishment of inter-ministerial coordination bodies and  the integration of water and biodiversity targets in agriculture/rural development plans.  The study concludes with a proposed roadmap for a Nexus strategy for the region.

The case study ”Fondo de agua Santiago Maipo” on the Water Fund for the Santiago de Chile/ Maipo region was presented by Guillermo Saavedra, President of FESAN (National Federation of Sanitary Services Cooperative of Chile). The  area provides drinking water for approximately 2.4 million inhabitants of the Metropolitan region of Santiago de Chile.  The Water Fund was established as a non-profit, private entity to foster the hydrological security of the Maipo River Watershed, to improve water availability (quality and quantity), ecosystem conservation, ecosystem services, socio-economic development, mitigation of water-related disasters, and human well-being in general.  The water fund is currently engaging the Nexus approach under six lines of action, including elaborating an integral watershed management plan, establishing a shared platform for effective information sharing, carrying out an economic analysis of the region, and implementing an adequate information strategy regarding the conservation of water resources.

At a more general level, governance aspects to ensure the adequate management of water basins were analyzed and presented by Mr. Axel Dourojeanni, currently working for the Fundacion Chile with prior experience as Director General of Water Resources in Peru and as Director of Natural Resources and Energy at UN-ECLAC. His presentation focused on the challenges that a Nexus approach poses on the multi-level governance (from local to an international elvel) of integrated watershed management. He highlighted that there is great interest in learning better management and coordination practices for watershed management in the region to improve coordination among government entities, and better address the challenges of effective water management and climate change.   Also, the importance of real-time information availability for basin management was stressed, emphasizing the need for accurate and informed projections of both surface and groundwater availability supported by established and stable public institutions.

Future Work

Building on the success of the three forums carried out so far, the next forum is tentatively planned for March 2020 to continue the conversation on Nexus issues in the region. For more information and the full record of the webinar, please contact Antonio Levy at or Maria Ana Rodriguez at .

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