In addition, the conceptual basis for including water, energy, and food in the “nexus,” to the exclusion of other resources and inputs is not evident. In many cases, the information excluded from studies claiming to implement a nexus approach might be of greater importance to science and policy than the information included in the analysis.
In this paper, I review some of the experience gained in earlier attempts to enhance integration and policy coherence, and to promote systems analysis. The challenges observed in implementing programs of integrated natural resources management (INRM) and integrated water resources management (IWRM), in particular, suggest that efforts to implement a water-energy-food nexus approach will not enhance the policy process in all settings. In sum, it is not clear that the increasing attention given to studies claiming to implement a nexus approach is warranted.
- Is the water-energy-food nexus new or innovative?
- Is there a supporting conceptual foundation?
- Is the water-energy-food nexus approach necessary or sufficient?
- Summing up