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.


  • 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





World Bank

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

JRC Technical Report // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

By Kougias I., Szabó S., Scarlat N., Monforti F., Banja M., Bódis K., Moner-Girona M. Mitigating the big challenges of access to clean water, energy and poverty in Africa requires integrated solutions. The analysis of issues related to the water, energy, food and the ecosystem through a nexus approach, has attracted the interest of scientists, policy-makers and the private sector. The present Technical Report examines the potential of such an approach to create beneficial synergies between the...

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Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model...

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Pompage Solaire // Investigation de l’impact des installations de pompage solaire sur la consommation d’eau et la situation socio-économique d’un agriculteur dans 3 zones pilotes au Maroc

Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre comment la conversion au pompage solaire peut influencer la consommation d'eau et les conditions socio-économiques d'un agriculteur marocain par rapport aux autres systèmes de pompage d'eau. L'étude s'est appuyée sur une enquête menée auprès de 150 agriculteurs répartis sur les territoires suivants 3 zones distinctes : la zone de Marrakech, la zone de Midelt et la zone de Tata. L'étude a été réalisée par le projet GIZ Sustainable Energy for Food - Powering...

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