The Nexus Dialogue
The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions is a call to action to those leading transformations in water infrastructure planning, financing and operation.
The Dialogue will provide a forum for sharing experiences, lessons, tools and guidelines on how water infrastructure and technologies can address nexus challenges. It is designed to build a common understanding of innovative planning, management and operational approaches that provide shared benefits across sectors.
Innovative professionals in farming, energy-production, natural resource management, and engineering have the experience and hold practical knowledge to address the nexus challenge. Working across sectors, the Nexus Dialogue provides a unique opportunity to share these experiences and the solutions emerging around the world.
Infrastructure and the Water, Energy and Food Nexus
Water, energy and food security rely on water infrastructure. Recognition of the closely bound interaction between water, energy and food production and use – the nexus – has led to new demands for water infrastructure and technology solutions.
The vision is coordinated planning, development, optimization and operation of portfolios of water infrastructure for benefits across sectors, including combinations of man-made infrastructures and technologies with nature-based infrastructures.
Solutions will bridge divides and strengthen the resilience of economic growth.
The dimensions of the Nexus challenge
Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s water to irrigate only 20% of the world’s cropland, yet produces 40% of all food. The energy sector is responsible for withdrawing 8% of all the worlds’ water, and in some cases up to 40% as in the USA. Food and energy production are inextricably linked to, and dependent on, the availability and access to water resources. With growing demand and shrinking availability of natural resources, more needs to be done to develop and mobilize unconventional ways to produce and deliver water to fields, powerplants, industries and cities.
© IUCN WATER, Infographic design: Carolyne Daniel, Zoï Environment Network
Equally, moving, storing and cleaning water is an energy intensive process. Often the entry point into developing or expanding existing energy generation, irrigation, or even public water supply systems is through infrastructure.
Infrastructure helps to unlock the value water resources bring to societies, but can also contribute to the degradation of natural ecosystems, impacting downstream production and people. Consequently, the nexus - the links and impacts among water resources, food production, and energy generation - creates the opportunity to work across sectors to ensure the best management and infrastructure principles are applied for a more water secure future.