Beijing Nexus Symposium Video


Beijing Nexus Symposium

Nexus initiatives

  • WEF Nexus Tool 2.0


    The tool allows the user to create different scenarios with varying food self-sufficiencies, water sources, energy sources, and countries of import. The output includes a summary of:

    • Water requirements (m3)
    • Local energy requirements (kJ)
    • Local carbon emissions (ton CO2)
    • Land requirements (ha)
    • Financial requirements (QAR)
    • Energy consumption through import (kJ)
    • Carbon emissions through import (ton CO2)


    The user is able to discover and visualize the amount of resources consumed by different proposed scenarios. The user would also able to decide the importance of each of the systems (water, local energy, local carbon, land, financial, energy through import and carbon through import). According to input given by user, the tool calculates the “sustainability index” of each of the proposed scenarios.

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  • The Nexus Network


    The Nexus Network is a three-year initiative to foster debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment. Participation in the network is open to researchers from all disciplines, and to decision makers in government, business and civil society.

    The network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is being coordinated by a team from the University of Sussex, University of East Anglia and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

    The network aims to:

    • Encourage debate
    • Support interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaborations between social and natural scientists, academic researchers and government, business and civil society
    • Enable researchers and stakeholders in business, policy and civil society to develop and share new methodologies, data, conceptual frameworks, skills and practices

    The network does this through:

    • Funding research on nexus-related topics
    • Providing opportunities for dialogue and debate
    • Developing methods, tools and briefing papers as a resource for research, policy and practitioner communities
    • Acting as a UK hub for nexus-related news and discussion

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  • U.S. Perspectives on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus


    On June 23rd – June 24th 2014, Colorado State University, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management and the U.S. Department of State conducted multi-disciplinary practitioner workshops. The aim of the workshop was discuss, based upon case studies of US experiences, how to plan and manage, jointly and effectively, across the water-energy-food nexus.

    • Workshop participants prepared a brief case study from their sector in preparation of workshop dialogue papers (Available here)
    • A background paper was prepared for the workshop to facilitate discussion and development of key points (Available here)
    • After the workshop, a final paper was developed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of State to draw on for international workshops (Available here)

    The workshop demonstrated the complexity and diversity of issues within the nexus, the importance of finance to support nexus solutions to water, energy and food challenges and highlighted the criticality of effective policy to enable nexus solutions at the local level.

    The workshop concluded with the starting point for the next phase of discussions, asking What specific institutional changes should be made to take advantage of the lessons learned and to provide incentives to overcome barriers to nexus outcomes?

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  • UNECE Work on the Nexus in Transboundary Basins


    In transboundary contexts, trade-offs related to the overlaps in the management, production and uses of water, energy and food can cause friction between riparian states. Recognising these challenges, the Parties of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) decided on an assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus to be carried out by Autumn 2015. A representative set of transboundary basins in the pan-European region and beyond were selected to be included. The assessment aims at identifying:

    1. 1. Hindrances to and opportunities for additional and equitable sharing of benefits
    2. 2. Practical solutions for improving security and for reconciling different needs

    A pilot assessment was undertaken in the Alazani/Ganikh River Basin. Other transboundary river basins where nexus assessments have been or are expected to be conducted include the Sava, Isonzo/Soca, Narva, Syr Darya, Niger, Mekong and the North-West Sahara Aquifer (some pending confirmation).

    Information on the meetings of the task force can be found here and here.

    Information on Alazani/Ganikh Basin (Azerbaijan and Georgia) pilot project can be found here.

    Information on the Sava River Basin assessment can be found here.


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  • Business Solutions for a Sustainable World


    WBCSD recognises that in the future humanity will have to feed more people with less water, within a context of climate change and increasing energy demand, whilst also ensuring a healthy ecosystem is being maintained. WBCSD see businesses not only as users of these resources, but also as solution makers as by participating in solution-finding, businesses will not only be able to overcome future resource constraints but can also enhance business efficiency.

    Research by WBCSD is ongoing is looking at promising, innovative and scalable solutions to the world’s interconnected water, energy, food, feed and fibre challenges.

    Published information can be found here

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    To download the brochure in Spanish, click here



    From discussion to action! 

    The Symposium on Infrastructure Solutions in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus was held in Beijing on 13-15 November 2014. The symposium produced a set of recommendations, which established broad policy principles for sustainable water infrastructure operation, management and optimisation in the nexus. 



    Contribute to the Nexus Dialogue!

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Water Association (IWA) offer a space for the linkages across water, energy and food to be discussed through the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions. The Dialogue is a call to action to those leading transformations in water infrastructure planning, financing and operation. IWA and IUCN are requesting submission of your ideas, case studies, and tools. For more information see below.

    What is water-energy-food nexus? 

    The water, energy and food security nexus means that the three sectors — water, energy and food — are inextricably linked and that actions in one area more often than not have impacts in one or both of the others.

    Irrigated systems need energy for pumping and transporting water for crop production. Industrial processes use large amount of energy to treat, heat and move water. Urban water (drinking water supply and wastewater collection and treatment) requires energy for treatment and distribution. Water is a key resource across the supply chains of agriculture and food production.  Energy is required to produce and distribute water and food: to pump underground water, to power tractors and irrigation machinery, and to process and transport food.

    The interdependence and inter-linkages between water, energy and food, means that crisis in one sector can quickly diffuse to other sectors and thus cause serious ecological, economical social and political ramifications. The integrated nexus approach emphasizes cross-sectoral dialogues and encourages technological, institutional and financial innovations in resource management, which will promote synthesis, balance trade-offs and enhance the overall security in water-energy-food.

    Click here to see some data that will help us better understand the inter-linkages between water, energy and food. 


    Why contribute and how?

    There is a rich array of experience and practical knowledge across professional fields including farming, energy-production, natural resource management, and engineering. However, the challenge is actively bringing these together to provide learning, knowledge exchange and moving to practical action.

    The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions needs your contributions as the key actors to work together to build new investments in providing innovative water infrastructure and technology that address the interdependencies of water, energy and food.

    There are a number of ways to share information.

    • You can send your ideas, tools, and case studies by email to We have created guidelines that indicate what sort of information the initiative is looking for.
    • You can upload information (documents or web links) directly through the Nexus Dialogue Toolkit.

    If you have ideas or recommendations of case studies and tools but are not sure what information to provide, or have questions on how and what to contribute please contact us directly at


    What information is needed?

    The Dialogue is looking for information on water infrastructure and technology along with effective institutions, financing and incentives that are being used (or proposed) to provide water for multiple uses.  We would like to know who has benefited and in what way. Also, how do you think the infrastructure and technology is impacting the availability of water, energy, and food?

    We also would like suggestions of specific tools and guidelines that can be used and promoted to improve the use of water infrastructure in sharing water resources across the water, energy and food sectors. This can be a decisions support system; a specific technology or process guideline; financing incentives; institutions, regulations and policy; and planning processes which consider water, energy and food together.


    How will this information be used?

    Submissions will contribute to the online collection of case studies and tools which will be openly available for access and use by all. All viewpoints are welcome and will be included. The information gathered will be used as inputs into synthesis papers and background information for the Nexus Dialogue Workshops and the International Conference on Water, Food and Energy in 2014.


    Who is the target audience and who is involved?

    The target audience are stakeholders across the Water Energy and Food sectors. People active in water, energy, food security issues and interested in sustainable solutions will find the knowledge being assembled on the Nexus dialogue platform of particular use and interest for the continued provisions and services within these sectors.

    The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions is guided by a Nexus Reference Group who will help reach out to networks across sectors so that the platform benefits from all available contributions. They also provide strategic direction, experienced opinion, foresight and thought leadership to the Dialogue. Reference Group members are drawn from leading agencies working on nexus and infrastructure challenges in the water, food, and energy disciplines.

    Beyond the reference group, we welcome inputs from across sectors and scales, from local government to the UN, from the private sector to NGOs, and from agriculture to water supply.


    What other opportunities are there to express my ideas?

    • Through to the end of April (2013), the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions was highlighted as a Hot Topic on the IWA WaterWiki, and there were opportunities to win prizes by contributing articles!
    • Take part in discussions and explore through the IWA WaterWiki.


    How can I take part in events?

    There will be a series of anchor workshops that are part of the dialogue process. These have limited funds and spaces, but the intention is to have representation from diverse stakeholders and from across sectors and interests. There are other opportunities to have direct interaction. This includes:

    Also if you have an event that will be focusing on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, especially around the use of infrastructure and technology as a well as institutional and financing solutions, please let us know so we can explore linkages and how to share information.


    Where are the next steps beyond the Dialogue?

    The Dialogue is the first step in catalysing thinking on nexus solutions and provides a unique opportunity to move from discussions about the existence of the water, energy and food nexus, to forming new partnerships that can actively address the nexus in a localized context. We want to provide a platform in which stakeholders can identify ways of operationalising the nexus.

    Along with educating and advancing thinking on infrastructure and the nexus, the Dialogue will provide the opportunity to catalyze a number of partnerships and proposals that enable follow up discussion to determine how to apply analysis of tools, and how to move to the second stage of designing and setting up solutions around nexus issues.


    How does this link to the Bonn Nexus Platform?

    The ‘Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions’ is a partnership initiative that grew out of the Bonn Nexus Conference back in 2011.  One of the objectives in Bonn focused on launching concrete initiatives to address the water, energy, food security nexus in a coherent and sustainable way.

    At the conference there was increased interest in investing in water infrastructure in different parts of the world because of concerns around water storage, water supply and flood protection for example, as well as food security, population growth and the need for climate change adaptation. In addition to the initiative focusing on water infrastructure, understanding what the broader set of options and technologies might be that work well across the water, food and energy sectors are key for the dialogue.

    For further information, check the Water, Energy, Food Security Resource Platform here.


    What is the role of IUCN and IWA?

    IUCN and IWA function as the Secretariat of the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions. By offering a space for solutions, both organisations are committed to an open exchange amongst all interested stakeholders.