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Project // Climate Services for the Water-Energy-Land Nexus (CLISWELN)

CLISWELN aims at building a long-lasting bridge between regional stakeholders and providers of regional climate scenario data (EURO-CORDEX) by using the climate change data in integrated models and decision-making tools in order to analyse the complex Water-Energy-Land-Food Nexus (WELFN).

CLISWELN contributes to the objectives of the project call by translating the results of integrated models forced with an ensemble of regional climate scenario data into tailored information for regional stakeholders. Co-development of models, tools, products, and communication strategies is key in order to ensure the usability of the results of the project.

The project assumes that the WELFN is an integral part of the climate services delivery chain, meaning that integrated approaches facilitate coherent decisions in the policy domain and avoid perilous trade-offs across the elements of the WELFN and other Sustainable Development Goals.

Water, energy and land are interlinked resources, and policies helping to adapt to climate change with a focus on any of these resources have to be assessed in order to avoid unwanted trade-offs and to provide synergistic co-benefits, including economic activities and crucial ecosystem services related to them (food). An example of a dangerous trade-off between the elements of the WELFN is an unexpected increase in energy use and induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated while adapting to climate change.

The link between the WELFN and climate change has been explored in a very limited number of case studies in Europe. Although climate services make large contributions to societal adaptation, literature on how to incorporate the WELFN into the climate services arena is still scarce.

The existing literature has demonstrated the relevance of the WELFN; however, there is a current lack of conceptual frameworks, models, tools and information sources to approach the nexus in a meaningful way, which would ideally capture all of the necessary implications to enable coherent policy recommendations.
The overall project goal is to enhance the existing portfolio of climate services with a conceptually and methodologically meaningful approach to the WELFN, from which coherent policies could be derived.

Objectives

The overall project goal is to enhance the existing portfolio of climate services with a conceptually and methodologically meaningful approach to the Water-Energy-Land-Food Nexus (WELFN), from which coherent policies could be derived. To achieve this goal, the following research objectives have been specified:

  • co-develop the novel Synergistic Climate Services Integrated Nexus Framework (SCINF), a new cross-sectoral frame for the conceptual integration of climate services and policymaking through the lens of the WELFN;
  • analyse WELFN-related social, economic, institutional and environmental dynamics in case studies (touristic urban region, agricultural region, river basin) of three European regions, considering the interactions of the WELFN with past droughts;
  • co-develop with policymakers evidence-based decision-support products derived from the SCINF, integrating existing regional climate scenario data with data from those sectors found relevant (water, tourism, agriculture, urban, forest);
  • disseminate the results and their related uncertainties for their use by the policy makers and overall stakeholder community of each case and beyond.

Participants

Funding

The project CLISWELN is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, and funded by DLR (DE), BMWFW (AT), MINECO (ES), UEFISCDI (RO) with co-funding by the European Union (Grant 863470).

More Information

  • Project website
  • Session “The Climate-Water-Energy-Land-Food Nexus: Security into Practice” at Adaptation Futures 2018 conference, Cape Town, 18-21 June 2018
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SDGs

Publication // The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Insights into resilient development

By SAB Miller and WWF (World Wildlife Fund). This collaborative report looks at 16 countries or states, comparing the ways in which their development patterns have managed their different mixes of resources and different capacities to make use of those resources.

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Ecosystems / WEFE Nexus

Publication // The Development of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus as a Framework for Achieving Resource Security: A Review

By Gareth B. Simpson and Graham P. W. Jewitt. This paper presents a study of the evolution of the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus since its rise to prominence in policy and development discourses in 2011. Drawing from an extensive review of published literature, the paper presents various interpretations of the concept while also considering the novelty of the WEF nexus.

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Capacity Building

Publication // A 40-year review of food–energy–water nexus literature and its application to the urban scale

By Newell, J. P., Goldstein, B., & Foster, A. (2019). What research exists to date on the FEW nexus? How have scholars conceptualized these interactions at the urban scale? What are some promising approaches? Where are the research gaps? To answer these questions, this paper conducts a quantitative review of the academic literature on the FEW nexus (1399 publications) over more than four decades (1973–2017), followed by in-depth analysis of the most influential papers using an evaluation matrix...

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