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Implementation and Case Studies

Water-Food-Energy-Environment Synergies and Tradeoffs // Major Issues and Case Studies

By Peter G. McCornick, Seleshi B. Awulachew and Michael Abebe. Using both a brief global overview as well as a closer review of four case studies from India, Ethiopia, Jordon and the USA, this paper tries to (i) a present the nature of the tradeoffs under different hydrological, energy, agricultural and environmental contexts and (ii) provide some anecdotal evidence and illustrative cases for the available policy options for minimizing conflicts but maximizing synergies between water, energy, food and environment.

The already complex interrelationships between water, food, energy and the environment are facing both challenges and opportunities. Rising fuel costs and increasing concerns over the effects of climate change are reinvigorating policymakers’ interest in renewable energy sources such as hydropower and bio-energy—both from biofuels as well as biomass. Development of any of these sources has the potential to generate positive economic and environmental benefits, yet, at the same time, they can cause negative food and equity impacts. This obviously entails major tradeoffs between the food, energy and environmental goals of water and energy development, allocation and management. 


Water Policy website




Water Policy (2008) 10 (S1): 23-36.

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Epistemological Dimensions of the Water–Energy–Food Nexus Approach // Reply to Discussions of “Challenges in Operationalizing the Water–Energy–Food Nexus”

By Christophe Cudennec et al. This article discusses recent literature and events on the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus, including the UN 2018 High Level Political Forum on sustainable development. Here, it elaborates on the epistemological perspective of the WEF nexus conceptualization, assessment, discourse and operationalization.

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Agua, Producción de Alimentos y Energía // La Experiencia del Nexo en Chile

Por Humberto Peña. El presente estudio analiza este Nexo en el caso de Chile. Con ese propósito, se revisa la evolución de las políticas públicas y los marcos institucionales relacionados con la gestión del agua, y el desarrollo del riego y de la energía eléctrica. En el análisis se distingue entre: un período inicial; otro donde el Estado fue el motor del desarrollo; un tercero con un predominio del mercado; y, finalmente, uno donde se busca un nuevo equilibrio entre el interés público y los...

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Efficiency Type Index // Analysis of the current World Biofuel Production under a Water–Food–Energy Nexus Perspective

By Emanuele Moioli, Federico Salvati, Marco Chiesa, Rosa T. Siecha, Flavio Manenti, Francesco Laio, Maria Cristina Rulli. This paper assesses the sustainability of bioenergy production under a nexus perspective through a new efficiency type index. The index describes 1st generation biofuel production under the perspective of the implied consumption of natural resources. The direct application of the nexus index entails an indication of the possible improvements needed to move production towards...

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