(C) Ali Hegazy, Unsplash
Peace and conflict

Transboundary Basin // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Sustainability in the Upper Blue Nile (UBN) Basin

By Mariam M. Allam and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. This paper presents a framework for optimal allocation of a river basin's land and water resources between rain-fed and irrigated agriculture and hydropower. This framework is applied on the UBN basin as a case study of a water-scarce transboundary basin with escalated conflicts between the stakeholder countries sharing its waters to help find win-win opportunities. The land-water allocation model finds significant potential for expanding rain-fed agriculture covering up to half of the basin area by adding soil enhancements. The model also finds that only three of the 11 irrigation schemes proposed in Ethiopia's master plan make economic sense and grow mostly sugarcane in these irrigated areas. There is a clear trade-off between expanding the rain-fed agriculture potential in the UBN basin and saving the water for hydropower production at the GERD. This trade-off can offer an opportunity for a win-win solution for the Nile conflict if the countries decide to cooperate in investing in an efficient rain-fed agricultural expansion in the basin and sharing the benefits and costs.

The Nile basin ecosystem is under stress due to rapid population growth, inefficient utilization of resources, climate change, and persistent conflicts among riparian countries. The Blue Nile is a major tributary of the Nile River and contributes about 60% of the total annual flow.

This paper presents a framework for optimal allocation of land and water resources in the upper Blue Nile (UBN) basin. This framework consists of two optimization models that aim to:

  1. allocate land and water resources optimally to rain-fed and irrigated agriculture, and
  2. allocate water to agriculture and hydropower production while maximizing the total net benefits.

The optimal agricultural expansion is expected to reduce the UBN flow by about 7.6 cubic kilometers, impacting the downstream countries Egypt and Sudan. Optimal operation rules for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (GERD) are identified to maximize annual hydropower generation from the dam while achieving a relatively uniform monthly production rate.

Trade-offs between agricultural expansion and hydropower generation are analyzed in an attempt to define scenarios for cooperation that would achieve win-win outcomes for the three riparian countries sharing the basin waters.

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Frontiers in Environmental Science (open access)

Published

January 2019

In

Front. Environ. Sci. 7:5. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00005

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Climate Change

Publication // Ten Principles to integrate the Water-Energy-Land Nexus with Climate Services for co-producing Local and Regional Integrated Assessments

By Roger Cremades, Hermine Mitter, Nicu Constantin Tudose, Anabel Sanchez-Plaza, Anil Graves, Annelies Broekman, Steffen Bender, Carlo Giupponi, Phoebe Koundouri, Muhamad Bahri, Sorin Cheval, Yamir Moreno, Oscar Melo, Katrin Karner, Cezar Ungurean, Serban Octavian Davidescu, Bernadette Kropf, Floor Brouwer, Mirabela Marin. This paper present ten principles which shall guide climate-informed decisions across Nexus resources.

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SDGs

Nexus Workshop // Water, Energy and Food: EU Delegations trained to apply ‘Nexus Thinking’

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organised in cooperation with the EU International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) a training on the WEF nexus for representatives of EU Delegations in 16 countries.

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Peace and conflict

Projet Nexus// Améliorer la sécurité et la résilience au changement climatique dans les contextes fragiles à travers le Nexus Eau-Energie - Sécurité Alimentaire (Frexus), au Mali, au Niger et au Tchad.

Le cercle vicieux rareté-concurrence-conflits-instabilité qui pèse actuellement sur de nombreuses communautés du Sahel peut se transformer en un cercle vertueux de résilience-gestion durable des ressources-coopération-sécurité. Pour y parvenir, le projet Frexus promeut des approches intersectorielles et intégrées pour la gestion des ressources naturelles, au sein des communautés locales confrontées aux conséquences de la rareté des ressources et aux impacts du changement climatique. Frexus...

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