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IWA WaterWiki Hot Topic Winner Contributes to Water, Energy and Food Solutions


16 July 2013 | Raül Glotzbach

The closely bound interaction between water, energy and food has created a movement in nexus thinking. Although the relationship between these 3 areas is not new, exploring how to optimize the water resource benefits across sectors is becoming especially important in our changing world.

The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions is forming new partnerships that can actively apply solutions to the nexus in a localized context. Solutions include identifying infrastructure and technologies available to optimize water supply, food production and energy generation, without compromising the ecosystems. As well as determining what obstacles exist surrounding the optimization of water infrastructure and technologies.

The development of infrastructure – both built (engineered structures such as dams, reservoirs, canals and irrigation systems) and natural (ecosystems and watersheds) – is essential in making water available for supply, energy generation and food production. To gain a wider perspective, a call for papers for the fourth IWA WaterWiki Hot Topic was circulated, with the spotlight on the nexus. We would like to congratulate Dr. Janez Sušnik as the winner of the fourth Hot Topic. Sušnik found the Hot Topic to be a useful platform for researcher to contribute to what he sees as pressing water issues that we face today. For him, “it is important that research, both academic and industrial, is carried out with urgency on the nexus such that we may better understand it, anticipate unintended consequences and aim for a more sustainable future”.

For Damian Crilly, who is among several of us working within the Nexus Dialogue team, Sušnik’s contribution can help “inform and assist the way policy decisions are made and greatly influence the understanding of system-wide sustainability to help pave the way for long-term water, energy and food security”. Although there can only be one winner, we were very impressed with the very high standard of entries and thank all those who contributed for their insights.

I have taken the liberty of listing the various contributions to the Hot Topic:

In the words of Mark Smith, “these types of [contributions] can be a focal point to bring people together and be a catalyst for new conversations that result in real innovations”. Keep the contributions coming!