Water-Energy-Food Nexus

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Future Earth liaison: Sandrine Paillard

The Nexus Knowledge-Action Network is a collaborative initiative of the Global Research Projects of Future Earth, the Future Earth Cluster Activity on Sustainability for water, energy and food through integrated water information and improved governance and CCAFS (the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security).

A significant part of the global population still lacks access to electricity (1.2 billion people in 2013 according to the World Energy Outlook 2015), clean and safe water (783 million people in 2014 according to AQUASTAT) and food (842 million undernourished people in 2012 according to FAO).

Interactions between water, energy and food systems are manifold. Energy is required to process and distribute water, water is central for nearly all forms of energy production, and both energy and water are key to any food enterprise. These interactions intensify as the demand for resources increases with population growth and the move towards ever more resource-intensive lifestyles. By 2050, according to most of the baseline scenarios, the demand for energy will nearly double while water and food demand is expected to increase by over 50%.  These dynamics are combined with major trends such as climate and land use change, and the depletion of natural resources, which already limit the ability of existing systems to meet growing demands.  Integrated resource management for food, energy and water is required to face, as well as to curb, these trends that already threatens food, water and/or energy security and sustainable development in many places of the world.

The Nexus Knowledge-Action Network has been launched with the aim to contribute to meeting the goal of delivering water, energy and food for all in a sustainable and equitable way. It will do so by fostering the production of the knowledge needed to better understand interactions between water, energy and food systems and how the synergies and trade-offs among them can be better managed towards this goal.  

The Nexus KAN aims to improve the interfaces between science and society. Its purpose is to support the scientific community in delivering the co-produced knowledge that stakeholders need to define new strategies and policies for sustainable development, and to implement them on the ground.

The Nexus KAN is a platform for integration and collaboration between the various existing communities and initiatives working on and concerned by the nexus. It builds on their expertise and activities and focus on developing cross-cutting activities that can enhance integration and synergies, and bring added value.

These activities are currently defined by the KAN’s developement team throughout the scoping phase (2016-2017). You can find more detailed information about the work of the development team here.

Upcoming Transdisciplinary training workshops in the US

TAMU WEF Nexus Initiative