More than one billion people have no access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation, suffer from malnutrition and cannot use modern energy sources. At the same time resources such as water, energy sources and land are becoming increasingly scarce due to climate change ,a growing world population, shifting consumer behavior and underinvestments in infrastructure.
The interdependencies in the use of resources and the safe provision of water and energy as well as the production of food become apparent. The production of agro-fuels, for example, requires precious water and occupies land that could be used to grow food. Intensive agricultural use in upper watersheds of rivers can intensify erosions and affect electricity generation from hydropower plants downstream. Energy subsidies increase the affordability irrigation pumps for farmers but they lower groundwater levels. Not only climate change, but also climate change mitigation measures may enhance the pressure on water and land resources. The Water - Energy - Land - Climate Nexus focuses explicitly on these intersectoral dependencies.
Research at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) inquires which incentives, governance mechanism and policy instruments could reduce negative effects and stimulate win-win solutions. This topic special presents relevant activities and works - as for example our "Nexus brief"-series.
Zwei Milliarden ohne sauberes Wasser: Wer steht auf der Leitung? (in German)
Ten years ago, the UN declared access to clean water a human right. Annabelle Houdret observes that there is no longer enough political pressure. "Between 2010 and 2016, German pledges have decreased by a quarter".
taz, 17 September 2020
World Water Day 2020. Water plays a key role in the implementation of the Paris climate agreement
Scheumann, Waltina / Annabelle Houdret (2020)
The Current Column of 20 March 2020
Freshwater as a global commons: international governance and the role of Germany
Herrfahrdt-Pähle, Elke / Waltina Scheumann / Annabelle Houdret / Ines Dombrowsky (2019)
Discussion Paper 15/2019
1/2016: Governing the Nexus between Water, Energy and Food: Instruments, Incentives and Mechanisms
2/2016: Sewage Systems and Energy: Focus on Urban India
3/2016: Cooperative Agreements between the Water and the Agricultural Sector
4/2016: Payments for Ecosystem Services and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
5/2016: Coordinating Planning in the Agricultural and Water Sectors
6/2016: Regional Organisations Promote Nexus Governance for Hydropower Along International Rivers