The Energy-Food-Water nexus

A Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach to Inform Policy-Making

FAO is currently developing an Approach to assess and manage the water-energy-food nexus. As part of this, FAO developed a methodology to assess the context status and the impact of specific interventions from a nexus perspective. The Nexus Approach intends to inform decision-making processes and to guide the development of “Nexus-sensitive” policies, supporting countries in designing and implementing them in a participatory manner. It also provides a basis for decision-makers to weigh trade-offs and benefits of possible interventions across sectors and scales.

The Nexus Assessment (including the Nexus Rapid Appraisal) consists of an easily applicable methodology, which relies on indicators that are readily available based on different country typologies, allowing a quick assessment of possible interventions against overarching development goals such as food security, and the sustainability of energy and water supply, use and management.

The methodology is outlined in the report Walking the Nexus Talk: Assessing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Context of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

GIZ Water-Energy-Food-Nexus Methodology Meeting
WEF-Nexus Assessment and Accounting

A methodology meeting organized by GIZ and FAO took place at FAO Headquarters on 14 April in order to discuss the FAO Nexus Rapid Appraisal, other available approaches and assess methodologies suitable for the Latin American context addressing the local needs. The participants include representatives from the following organizations: GIZ, FAO Headquarters, FAO Regional Office for Latin America, IUCN, IWA, UAB, SEI, PIK, Climate Babel and CEPAL.

Application of an innovative accounting framework to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

FAO worked with LIPHE4 to extend the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) approach initially designed for energy matters as an integrated accounting framework for the energy, food/land, water nexus. The applicability of the methodology was tested in three case studies: alternative options to current sugarcane cultivation for export in Mauritius, concentrated solar power as a power supply alternative option in South Africa and the effects of a reduction of electricity subsidies for farmers in the Indian Punjab state.

A final report summarizing the work is available here.

Technical Workshop
Moving ahead to implement the Nexus approach: Lessons learned and discussion of next steps regarding integrated assessment of water-energy-food needs in a climate change context

Held at FAO Headquarters on 5-6 March, the workshop addressed strengths and weaknesses of some of the main available nexus tools and approaches to identify what we can build on and what the gaps and challenges are. This was used as the basis to identify what should be the next steps to develop a coherent nexus approach/support package at country level, and related required international coordination nexus mechanisms.

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last updated:  Monday, September 8, 2014