Symposium on Infrastructure Solutions in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Beijing, China, 13-15 November 2014
 

Symposium Overview

The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions focuses on developing renewed attention on major infrastructure development for water, energy, food security and climate change resilience. Since 2013, IUCN and IWA have successfully organized a series of regional workshops in Africa, Latin America, Asia (with UNESCAP) and Central Asia (with EastWest Institute) on the role of infrastructure in the nexus.  The most recent event was the Symposium on Infrastructure Solutions in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Beijing, China in November 2014 in partnership with GWP China.

China is the most populous country in the world, with approximately 1.3 billion people (22% of the world population). In order to sustain the population and economy, there is a growing demand for water. However, water scarcity is threating many cities and regions in China. About 400 of China’s 660 cities are reportedly short of water; of those, 108 cities, including megacities like Beijing and Tianjin, are facing serious water shortages.

Water is potentially the major barrier for energy generation and food production in China and many other regions. There is a call for coordination and collaboration where people from different countries and sectors work together to solve challenges in water-energy-food nexus. The Dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss the water-energy-food dilemma in China and other countries that are facing similar problems

We invited more than 80 outstanding international and regional professionals, from both public and private sectors from previous Nexus Dialogue regional workshops, together with new faces. The Beijing Symposium provided the opportunity for participants to share experiences and learning with Chinese experts; discuss findings from the global nexus dialogue to date, and to feed into the development of concepts and ideas. The Symposium provided space for participants to work on a set of recommendations, which will establish policy principles for sustainable water infrastructure operation, management and optimization in the nexus.

Symposium Themes

In order to bring together sectoral and integrated best practice, and to make insightful connections between the sectoral components of the nexus, the Symposium was centred around five themes including:

1. Clean technology (Cleantech) for water, energy and food infrastructure solutions - the use of clean technology which supports provision and efficiencies across sectors 

2. Using the nexus to accelerate social development and support water stewardship and corporate engagement – This theme focused on social and economic development approaches, including corporate sector engagement in linking water, energy and food security and accelerating infrastructure development across scales.

3. Influencing pathways of investments for in the nexus - This theme examined money flows channelled into infrastructure and technology especially in emerging economies, and the factors influencing the pathway of these investments to resource water-energy-food nexus solutions.

4. Natural infrastructure/ecosystems in the nexus - This theme sought to promote better understandings of the importance of healthy ecosystems in well-functioning infrastructure built for irrigation, hydropower or municipal water supply, and in achieving the economic returns necessary to justify investments.

5. Power dynamics (policy and institutional change/collaboration) across the nexus - This theme gave special attentions to current and future policies for sustainable water infrastructure operation, management and optimization in the nexus, with the expectation of moving cross-sectoral discussions to implementation mode, focusing on improving the enabling environment to ensure that collaboration and joint solutions lead to shared benefits.

An important outcome of the Symposium was discussion of five synthesis papers that mirrored those five themes. Synthesis papers highlighted sectoral and integrated best practices, and made insightful connections between the sectoral components of the nexus. In addition, key recommendations were further developed for each theme.

Participants also contributed to the development of a framework to identify concrete nexus challenges and analyse examples of inter-sectoral collaboration, incentives for policy coherence, roles of actors and institutions and joint visioning & planning.

The Dialogue will be part of thematic sessions at the 7th World Water forum in Daegu and Gyeongbuk, South Korea, 12-17 April, 2015

 

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'Building Partnerships to Optimise Infrastructure and Technology for Water, Energy and Food Security'

Nexus Dialogue symposium

Conveners: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Water Association (IWA) and Global Water Partnership China (GWP China)

The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions has provided a renewed focus on major infrastructure development for water, energy, food security and climate change resilience. As a continuence of Nexus Dialogue, the Beijing Sympsium invited pro-eminent international and regional researchers, practitioners, technology developers, innovators,  investors and government officials active in water, energy and food fields to together produce a set of recommendations, which would help establish policy principles for sustainable water infrastructure operation, management and optimization in the nexus.

 

Presentations

Day 1, Thursday 13 November 2014, Framing the Nexus
Opening Session
 
The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions
 
China and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, part 1
1. Implementing the Strictest Water Resources Management System to Secure the Safety of Food and Ecology – Mrs Shi Qiuchi, Professor, Water Resources Department, Ministry of Water Resources?)
2. The Role and Prospect of Hydropower in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Dr. Liu Heng, Prof., Dr., Director-General, International Center on Small Hydropower, under auspices of UNIDO and China's Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Commerce.  Vice Chair of GWP China Regional Technical Committee
3. The Farmland, Reservoirs and Food Security Nexus in China Dr. Cai Dianxiong, Director of Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences and Member of GWP China Regional Technical Committee
Panel Discussion
 
China and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, part 2
1. How a PES supported forest restoration policy connected water-food-energy-evidence from the Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program in China Xie Chen, China National Forestry Economics and Development Research Center, State Forestry Administration, Beijing
2. No Water = No Food & No Power  Feng Hu, China Water Risk
3. Water-pocalypse? China's Water Crisis Exacerbated by Coal Development – Deng Ping, Greenpeace China
4. China’s South to North water diversion project, climatic variation and human influence – Dr. Fang Dong, Senior Engineer, China Water Engineering Association
Panel Discussion
 
Global Experiences on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, part 1
1. The nexus and resource scarcity/security in the Amazon  –  Helen Bellfield, Global Canopy Programme, Oxford, U.K.
2. The challenges of the nexus for Asia with a focus on international law  –  Dr Patricia Wouters, Professor of International Law, Founding Director, China International Water Law Programme, Xiamen Law School
3. The risks and opportunities of food-energy-environment-water linkages  –  Paul Wyrwoll, General Manager, FE2W Network, Managing editor Global Water Forum, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
4. The multipurpose water uses of hydropower reservoirs  –  Emmanuel Branche, Senior Economist Engineer, Generation & engineering, Sustainable Development Department, Electricité de France 
Session Commentator: Jeremy Bird, Director General, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
 
Global Experiences on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, part 2
1. Water-Energy-Food Nexus Analytical Framework and Applications – Bassel Daher, Research Associate Texas A&M University, USA
2.Nexus Perspectives in Central Asia – Dr. Munira Aminova, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussels
3.U.S. Perspectives and Case Studies on the Water Energy Food Nexus – Jordan Macknick, US National Renewable Energy Laboratory
4. Infrastructure development, food security and ways forward in the Mekong – Dr. Eric Baran, Senior Scientist, Worldfish, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Session Commentator: Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation
 
Synthesis of Discussions
 
Day 2, Friday 14 November 2014, What Works in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus?
Findings from the Synthesis Papers, part 1
1. ‘Cleantech’ for water, energy and food infrastructure solutions – Simon Howarth, Mott MacDonald
2. Using the nexus to accelerate social development and support water stewardship and corporate engagement – James Dalton, IUCN/Stuart Orr, WWF International
3. Influencing pathways of investments for in the nexus – Kala Fleming, IBM Research Africa
Facilitator: Katharine Cross, IWA
 
Findings from the Synthesis Papers, part 2
1. Natural infrastructure/ecosystems in the nexus – Todd Gartner, World Resources Institute
2. Power dynamics (policy and institutional change/collaboration) across the nexus – Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation/Christopher Butler, University of California, Santa Cruz
Facilitator: Damian Crilly, Environment Agency, UK
 
Synthesis Paper Best Practice Discussion – Carousel Discussion
Synthesis Papers Best Practice Feedback Session
 
Day 3, Saturday 15 November 2014, Identifying Principles for the Nexus
Policy Principles for Multi-Purpose and Multi-Sector Approaches
FORCE framework and application of policy principles
Group Discussion by Using FORCE Framework
Review and Conclusion
 
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