Nexus case studies

This page highlights a selection of case studies developed in partnership with various organizations from the private and public sector as well as civil society. The case studies examine how we can optimize water infrastructure (built and natural) to sustainably meet the needs across the water, energy and food sectors, looking at new innovations, institutional arrangements, policy, decision making and financing.



East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)

PublicEBMUD has adapted their largest existing wastewater treatment plant to include the management of food waste. Waste is anaerobically decomosed and methane emissions are captured to power the treatment plant. The plant is now net-positive in energy production and organic fertiliser is produced as a by-product.PDF
MillerCoorsPrivateIn order to reduce their water footprint within their agricultural supply chain, MillerCoors established a showcase barly farm to test best management practices that could be disseminated to their producers. Results indicated that precision irrigation techniques could reduce water consumption, and associated energy costs, whilst simultaneously maintaining yields.PDF
Duke Energy PeruPrivateUndertaking social responsibility in the Peruvian jungle related to sustainable water use. These provide alternatives income generation to coca production, simultaneously improving livelihoods and reducing the social risk that coca production poses to the Aguaytia Thermal Power Plant.PDF
Royal Dutch ShellPrivate

Energy production requires a secure water supply. As this is required within the context of increasing water demand from various sectors, Shell is looking at water treatment and reuse to ensure sustainable water management. In the Nimr oilfield, Oman, a 360 hectare reed-bed water treatment facility has been established, treating 95,000 cubic metres of produced water every day. 

Sahara Forest Project (SFP)NGO

The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) is working on developing innovative solutions that utilise what we have enough of (deserts, saltwater and CO2) to produce what we need more of (food, water, and clean energy). One development is a saltwater-cooled greenhouse in Qatar, running on solar energy, that indicates the potential to produce 75kg per square metre of baby cucumbers.

WEF Nexus ResearchTeamResearchThe WEF Nexus team is working on developing WEF Nexus Analytic tools at different scales; developing improved thermodynamic modeling to better account for greenwater; and assessing the feasibility and implications of non-traditional (treated waste) water. The goal is to  better understand water-energy-food interlinkages and to support decision-makers in identifying sustainable resource management strategies.PDF
Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE)ResearchUsing the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) to empower consumers to use their purchasing power to ensure manufacturing companies undertake sustainable water management.PDF
Nature Conservancy NGOUsing non-depleting endowment funds to finance natural infrastructure investments in order to conserve watersheds surrounding Quito, Ecuador.PDF
Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, MalawiPublic

The Water Resources Investment Strategy (WRIS)  aims to assist Malawi in delivering sustainable water resources management  in order to achieve both national and international development targets.




Water Management in the Huasco River BasinPublicA programme for capacity transfer and improvement of irrigation and resource management in the basin to share benefits of the Reservoir Santa Juana.PDF



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Other nexus case study collections

Links here highlight a selection of nexus case studies and publications initiated by a variety of organizations, such as GIZ, Colorado State University, GRACE Communications Foundation, WBCSD. These case studies demonstrate the inter-linkages between water, energy and food and seek to maximise synergies and reducing trade-offs in order to achieve the goal of nexus security and sustainability.

US Perspectives and Lessons on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

Colorado State University, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) and the U.S. Department of State conducted a practitioner workshop on June 23-24, 2014 to prepare a synthesis of discussions about U.S. perspectives and lessons learned on the water-food-energy nexus.

Nexus Platform for Water, Energy and Food Security 

Funded by the German Federal Government, the Nexus Platform for water, energy and food security is an outcome of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference. The platform aims to sustain the momentum on nexus-related topics gained during the conference and to provide practical solutions and best practices to challenges that are faced.

Food, Water and Energy: Know the Nexus

The GRACE Communications Foundation develops innovative strategies to increase awareness of critical environmental and public health issues created by our food, water and energy systems. The foundation provides case studies that support sustainable food, water and energy management by recognising the interconnectivity between these three sectors.

The Urban NEXUS

The urban NEXUS (GIZ, BMZ) is an approach to sustainable urban development that looks to the synergies between different sectors that look to improve institutional performance, optimize resource management and service quality. The site provides many case studies and stories regarding the urban nexus.

Water and Energy Linkages to Food, Feed, Fiber

WBCSD is an organisation consisting of forward-thinking companies that recognise the need to undertake and develop support for a sustainable business, societal and environmental future. Within the organisation constructive solutions to current and future pressures are sought and advocated. Recognising the importance of future water, energy and food interlinkages and synergies in their future sustainable management, the organisation has started to undertake analyses and solution findings within this sector.

Nexus Assessment

The nexus-assessment website presents the results of the application of an integrated analysis approach, the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM), to the nexus between energy, food, land use and water. The developed approach was applied to three case studies: (1) An analysis of the option to produce biofuel from sugarcane in the Republic of Mauritius; (2) An exploration of the future of grain production in the Indian state of Punjab; (3) An assessment of two alternative energy sources to produce electricity in the Republic of South Africa.