event 04 Jul 2018

The Nexus between Water, Energy and Food in Latin America and the Caribbean // Planning, Policy Framework and the Identification of Priority Interconnections

By Antonio Embid and Liber Martín. This document analyses the Nexus between water, energy and food in Latin America and the Caribbean, focussing its attention on the current state of the matter, planning for its implementation, the articulation of the normative framework and the identification of the priority interconnections for the region. Based on a review of the most relevant background and histories of the Nexus concept and its current configuration at the global level, the key elements are considered to establish the current state of the issue in the region.

Cover nexus priorities in latin america and the carribean

Other relevant elements are also considered, such as the connection between Nexus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financial aspects related to their components, and its importance in the risk society. The document later addresses the Nexus features in the region, identifying the key difficulties in its implementation, its incorporation in the legal framework for human rights and the definition of legal priorities for the use of water. Among the various interconnections (between water and energy, water and food, food and energy, and between water, energy and food), the interactions that can turn out to be priorities or critical for the region are identified. Those that stand out are: hydropower generation, mining and oil, expansion and modernisation of irrigation systems, overexploitation of aquifers, agriculture and food, drinking water and sanitation services, and biofuels. Finally, the conclusions include a series of institutional, organisational and sectoral proposals for consideration and possible implementation in the countries within the region. Among these proposals, a select group of public policy instruments of high regional importance are identified for implementing of the Nexus approach in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Throughout the various stages of its preparation, preliminary versions of this study were presented and debated in diverse expert meetings, notably in the “Regional Nexus Dialogues in Latin America” workshop (Subregional Headquarters of CEPAL in Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 31 March 2016) and the “Governance of the Water, Energy and Food Nexus: Agenda 2030 Challenges in Water and Sanitation” experts meeting (Antigua, Guatemala, 6 and 7 September 2016). The objectives were to disseminate information on the Nexus topic in Latin America and the Caribbean, to contrast the approach employed in the addressing the issues with other views and perspectives, as well as to enrich the conclusions and recommendations of the study.

Please also check the Spanish version of this document.


Nexus Resource Platform website


June 2017


Stay up to date!

We inform you about current projects, events, actions, publications and news!