Pumping from river in Kharke basin, Iran. Credit: François Molle* (Flickr: Water Alternatives).
Research

Publication //The Groundwater‒Energy‒Food Nexus in Iran’s Agricultural Sector: Implications for Water Security

By Mirzaei, A., Saghafian, B., Mirchi, A., & Madani, K. (2019). This article details the overexploitation of groundwater in Iran, its relationship with the agricultural sector and arising threats, while also offering idea to counter these trends. This is an excerpt of the original article, which can be accessed below.

This paper presents the first groundwater‒energy‒food (GEF) nexus study of Iran’s agronomic crops based on national and provincial datasets and firsthand estimates of agricultural groundwater withdrawal. We use agronomic crop production, water withdrawal, and energy consumption data to estimate groundwater withdrawal from electric-powered irrigation wells and examine agronomic productivity in Iran’s 31 provinces through the lens of GEF nexus. The ex-post GEF analysis sheds light on some of the root causes of the nation’s worsening water shortage problems. Access to highly subsidized water (surface water and groundwater) and energy has been the backbone of agricultural expansion policies in Iran, supporting employment in agrarian communities. Consequently, water use for agronomic crop production has greatly overshot the renewable water supply capacity of the country, making water bankruptcy a serious national security threat. Significant groundwater table decline across the country and increasing energy consumption underscore dysfunctional feedback relations between agricultural water and energy price and groundwater withdrawal in an inefficient agronomic sector. Thus, it is essential to implement holistic policy reforms aimed at reducing agricultural water consumption to alleviate the looming water bankruptcy threats, which can lead to the loss of numerous agricultural jobs in the years to come.

Access

Mirzaei, A., Saghafian, B., Mirchi, A., & Madani, K. (2019). The Groundwater‒Energy‒Food Nexus in Iran’s Agricultural Sector: Implications for Water Security. Water, 11(9), 1835.

Published

September 2019

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© 2019 by the authors.

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Governance

Nexus Principles // The Water, Energy and Food securiy Nexus Principles

The Water-Energy-Food security Nexus Principles guide towards the application, implementation and operationalisation of the Water-Energy-Food security Nexus (WEF Nexus) approach in different contexts. The Principles were developed by practicioners based on their experience and grounded in research.

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Research

Publication // Beyond hydropower: towards an integrated solution for water, energy and food security in South Asia

By Rasul, G., Neupane, N., Hussain, A., & Pasakhala, B. (2019). This article provides an overview of current WEF-resource challenges in South Asia, and delivers potential angles for improvements that could be derived by implementing the Nexus approach, with a focus on hydroelectrial power and development of waterways. This is an excerpt of the original article, which can be accessed below.

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Governance

Publication // Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Nexus through nationally determined contributions (NDCs): the case of Brazil

By Paim, M. A., Salas, P., Lindner, S., Pollitt, H., Mercure, J. F., Edwards, N. R., & Viñuales, J. E. (2020). This article gives insight into what role the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the 2015 Paris agreement might play in furthering the Nexus approach in Brazil. This is an excerpt of the original article, which can be accessed below.

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