Policy Papers

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa // Scenarios for a Sustainable Future

By Edoardo Borgomeo, Anders Jagerskog, Amal Talbi, Wijnen, Marcus Talbi, Mohamad Hejazi, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm. Water, energy, and agriculture have been conventionally dealt with separately in investment planning. For each of these sectors, regulatory frameworks, organizations, and infrastructures have been put in place to address sector-specific challenges and demands. As the Middle East and North Africa works towards building a more sustainable future, a nexus approach that considers the risks and synergies among these sectors is needed. To demonstrate the added value of a nexus approach, this report applies scenario analysis and integrated assessment modelling of the water-energy-food nexus to the Middle East and North Africa. The analysis finds that water scarcity increases in all countries in the region over the coming decades, mostly due to growing demands.

More importantly, the analysis finds that many countries in the region could run out of fossil groundwater by 2050 unless measures to curb unsustainable abstraction are implemented. The impacts of growing scarcity on agriculture are significant, with production projected to drop by 60 by 2050 in some countries. On the upside, reducing the dependence of the agricultural and energy sectors on water and transitioning to renewable energies can reduce water scarcity, at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report is targeted to policy makers, the academic community, and a wider global audience interested in exploring the interactions between water, agriculture, and energy.

Contents

  • Challenges and Opportunities in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
  • Chapter 1 Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa
    • Climate Change and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa
    • Snapshot of the Approach
    • Note
  • Chapter 2 A Future without Water?
    • Growing Surface Water Scarcity
    • Groundwater Overexploitation and Depletion
    • Less Water for More People: The Role of Increasing Population Demands and Climate
    • Change on Water Scarcity
  • Chapter 3 Impacts of Water Scarcity and the Nexus
    • Water Scarcity and Food Production
    • Water Scarcity and Electricity Generation
  • Chapter 4 Future Sustainability for the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa 33
    • Valuing Water
    • Increasing Nonconventional Supplies
    • Moving Toward Renewable and Less Water Intensive Electricity Generation
  • Chapter 5 Conclusions

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Published

2018

By

World Bank

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