1st Edition

The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus Challenges and an agenda for action

Edited By Felix Dodds, Jamie Bartram Copyright 2016
    292 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Global trends of population growth, rising living standards and the rapidly increasing urbanized world are increasing the demand on water, food and energy. Added to this is the growing threat of climate change which will have huge impacts on water and food availability. It is increasingly clear that there is no place in an interlinked world for isolated solutions aimed at just one sector. In recent years the "nexus" has emerged as a powerful concept to capture these inter-linkages of resources and is now a key feature of policy-making. 

    This book is one of the first to provide a broad overview of both the science behind the nexus and the implications for policies and sustainable development. It brings together contributions by leading intergovernmental and governmental officials, industry, scientists and other stakeholder thinkers who are working to develop the approaches to the Nexus of water-food-energy and climate. It represents a major synthesis and state-of-the-art assessment of the Nexus by major players, in light of the adoption by the United Nations of the new Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in 2015.

    With a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales


    Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram 

    Part 1: Learning from the Past, Building a New Future: Nexus Scientific Research 

    1. History of the Nexus at the Intergovernmental Level 

    Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram  

    2. Sustainable Development Goals and Policy Integration in the Nexus 

    David Leblanc 

    3. Nexus Scientific Research: Theory and Approach Serving Sustainable Development 

    Joachim von Braun and Alisher Mirzabaev 

    4. Global Risks and Opportunities in Food, Energy, Environment and Water to 2050  

    R. Quentin Grafton 

    5. Stewardship of Ecosystems 

    Tony Allan and Nathanial Matthews  

    Part 2: Urban Challenges of the Nexus: Local and Global Perspectives 

    6. The Contribution of Innovation in Urban Resilience and Sustainability to Realising the Urban Nexus 

    Nicholas You 

    7. Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS: Increasing the Productivity of Cities and Urbanized Nations 

    Kathrine Brekke and Jeb Brugmann 

    8. The Confederacy of Experts: The Crushing Nexus of Silos, Systems, Arrogance and Irrational Certainty 

    Gary Lawrence 

    Part 3: Natural Resource Security for People: Water, Food and Energy 

    9. Water-Food-Energy-Climate: Strengthening the Weak Links in the Nexus 

    Ania Grobicki 

    10. Natural Resource Security in an Uncertain World  

    Sylvia Lee 

    Part 4: Nexus Perspectives: Energy: Water and Climate 

    11. The Nexus in Small Island Developing States 

    Liz Thompson 

    12. Renewable Energy: Nexus-friendly Pathways for Growth 

    Frank Wouters and Divyam Nagpal 

    13. The Challenge of Climate Change in the Energy-Water Nexus 

    Diego Rodriguez, Anna Delgado Martin and Antonia Sohns  

    Part 5: Nexus Perspectives: Food, Water, and Climate 

    14. Smallholder Farmers are at the Nexus of Post-2015 Development Issues 

    Iain MacGillivray 

    15. Green Opportunities for Urban Sanitation Challenges through Energy, Water and Nutrient Recovery 

    Pay Drechsel and Munir A. Hanjra 

    Part 6: Nexus Corporate Stewardship: How Business is Improving Resource Use 

    16. Building Partnerships for Resilience 

    David Norman and Stuart Orr 

    17. Capital Markets at the Nexus of Sustainable Development 

    Steve Waygood 

    18. Principles for the Integration of the Nexus within Business 

    Felix Dodds and Cole Simons 



    Felix Dodds is a Senior Affiliate of the Water Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute, and was the Executive Director of the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future from 1992 to 2012. He is author or editor of several books on sustainable development and resource security.

    Jamie Bartram is a Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Director of the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. He is the author or editor of numerous academic papers and books, including the Routledge Handbook of Water and Heath (2015).

    "The Water-Food-Energy nexus has emerged as one of the most important management challenges facing the sustainability agenda. Water, food and energy are all basic resources underpinning development, not just in terms of poverty alleviation but also more sustained economic growth and social development. They are Sustainable Development Goals in their own right, but also associated with the realization of all 17 SDGs. While there are many trade-offs related to water us in terms of agriculture and energy, the nexus perspective is primarily about seeking opportunities and achieving multiple benefits through better and more efficient management of resources. This demands new approaches that takes us beyond the predominant, traditional silo (or sector) thinking and management approaches. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the water-food-energy nexus, and the many dimensions associated with this nexus. It offers not just a problem description but also innovative approaches to management of these key resources from a wider systems perspective. It can be read by anyone looking for an introduction to the challenges and opportunities related to the Nexus, as well as anyone interested in practical approaches and solutions."Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden. 

    "Water, food and energy – we have seen these three areas as separate sectors with seperate problems for way too long. The truth is that they are deeply interlinked and must be seen as such if we are to overcome the impacts climate change and growing populations will have on them. That is why the water, food, energy nexus is so important to investigate. This book is an important contribution by major thinkers on what those challenges will be and how to start addressing them in an interlinked manner."Ida Auken, former Environment Minister of Denmark. 

    "Never before has the world needed an integrated approach to sustainable development more. The principles and strategies explored in this book provide a roadmap for just that." – Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General, CIVICUS. 

    "The fact that, in 2015, the world is still struggling with hunger, poverty, and exclusion, almost half a century after mankind managed to set foot on the moon, says a lot about the complexity tackling development challenges. In order to succeed, sustainable development must look at all underlying causes, and embrace their dynamic inter-relations. Hunger will not be solved without looking at factors behind poverty, equal access for men and women and sustainable use of limited natural resources, including water and energy, or the impacts of climate change; and this requires the participation of all stakeholders! Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram's Nexus book illustrates well the need for an integrated approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030. Only by breaking down silos, will we achieve sustainable development, in all three of its dimensions, in our generation’s lifetime!"Gerda Verburg, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations Food organisations in Rome, Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on Food and Nutrition Security, Former Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (UN CFS) (2013-2015), Chair of the seventeenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17). 

    "The Nexus book demonstrates the urgency required for integrated approaches to development in order to address poverty and achieve sustainable development. It provides valuable historical examples that demonstrate why development planning and practice need to be done differently, and with more urgency. It is a 'must-read' for development planners and practitioners globally who have a conscience for really improving the lives of the poor and bettering the world. It is a timely publication that will go a long way in contributing towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals."Hesphina Rukato, Executive Director, Centre for African Development Solutions.