A nexus (or inter-sectoral) approach to managing the interlinked resources can enhance water, energy and food security by increasing efficiency, reducing trade-offs, building synergies and improving governance across sectors. Recognizing the related challenges, the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention decided on assessments of water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus to be carried out. A participatory nexus assessment methodology was developed and subsequently applied in 5 transboundary river basins, located in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The assessment work is continuing in the Western Balkans and is on-going on the North-West Sahara Aquifer System. The assessment aims at identifying, together with the concerned sectors and relevant stakeholders, 1) hindrances to and opportunities for additional and equitable sharing of benefits from stronger integration across sectors, and 2) practical solutions for improving security and for reconciling the different sectors’ needs.
The process has been designed to support ownership by the authorities, meaningful participation of various stakeholders, learning together and exchanging experience between basins.
The methodology and the first basin level summaries are available here. A number of basin reports and policy briefs can be found here.
The transboundary intersectoral dialogues are informed by analyses of priority intersectoral resource management issues identified jointly with the countries. The analyses have included, for example, looking at the effect of predicted increased water scarcity on energy generation (including implications for the energy mix and greenhouse gas emissions), or optimizing flow regulation.
Partner: UNECE Water Convention
Target Segment of the Conference: Hydrological Services - Product Delivery
Relationship to other Conference Segments:
These nexus assessments require information about water, energy, land and ecosystem resources as well as their use. They rely on good availability of data on hydrology (for instance the distribution and variability of flows, and long-term trends in these) and hydrogeology. Informing policy would benefit from relevant information products that are also accessible to non-experts.
Global with more experience in the pan-European region.
Connection to the development and delivery of a hydrological service for prosperity:
Comprehensive and up-to-date information about the quantity and quality of water resources and how they vary – also seasonally – is crucial for reconciling different economic development objectives that depend on water. Growing food (agriculture) require timely water availability and most forms of energy generation require water, and the ecosystems’ water requirements need to be taken into account. Nexus approach helps to balance the needs of various sectors and contribution to prosperity and sustainable development in an integrated manner.