Nexus Synthesis papers

Increasing urbanisation and economic growth provide significant benefits, but also pose a range of challenges especially for water quantity and quality. Water, energy and food security rely on water infrastructure. Recognition of the closely bound interaction between water, energy and food (or the management of land for food, fodder, and fuel production) – the nexus – has led to new demands for water infrastructure and technology solutions.

The Nexus Dialogue Synthesis Series highlights best practice and identifies connections between the multi-sectoral components of the nexus. The papers are designed to be stand-alone documents, but also relate to each other as key thematic areas in the nexus that have been identified from stakeholder discussions during the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions between 2012 and 2015.

The aim of the synthesis papers is to bring together sectoral best practice, and to make connections between the multi-sectoral components of the nexus. The papers identify and analyse the main drivers for joint solutions, and the opposing factors that limit working together across sectors. Key factors for an appropriate enabling environment are identified to allow cross-sectoral opportunities to work better and at the most appropriate scale to help bolster existing development approaches. The nexus is only valid as a point of focus if it leads to better development.


TitleSummary Link 
Natural Infrastructure in the nexusThis paper discusses how natural infrastructure, the networks of land and water that provide services to people, can help decision makers and infrastructure managers address interconnected challenges facing water, energy and food systems, often referred to as the “nexus”.



Nexus Governance: Forces at Work 

This paper focuses on the challenges and opportunities  of institutional arrangements across the water, energy, food sectors and beyond. Examples are presented from Nepal, India and Thailand to highlight some of the challenges in development approaches to harness multi-sector, multi-discipline, and multipurpose thinking.



Water stewardship and corporate engagement in the nexusThis paper considers how the nexus can accelerate social development and support water stewardship and corporate engagement. 
Influencing pathways of investments for the nexusThis paper explore factors influencing the pathway of investments to resource water-energy-food nexus solutions. It also explores how to promote innovative financing through the development of a data driven approach. 

Clean technology for nexus infrastructure

This paper focuses on the use of Cleantech across water infrastructure systems that support the water, energy and food sectors. For example, cleantech for agriculture can mean precision irrigation, pump efficient solutions, use of treated waste water for irrigation and wetland management to reduce impacts from agricultural runoff.

Learning from the nexus dialogueThis paper provides an overview of the learning process in the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions (a global initiative by IWA and IUCN). 




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Who are these papers for?

The Papers are targeted to a broad audience, but principally four main groups of stakeholders:

Policy Advisors - individuals who advise decision making committees, senior staff and individual decision makers about issues related to policy delivery and reform, investment choices, and activities to deliver national, regional, and global commitments to resource management, environmental protection, and economic development. This includes those in regulatory agencies.

Practitioners – individuals and agencies who are involved in implementing projects and programmes within or across the water-energy- food sectors. This includes those who are involved in managing and/or designing interventions that tackle competition for water or degradation of ecosystems as a consequence of different sectoral demands for water, for example water for irrigation, hydropower or cooling water, or public water supply. Practitioners include people and agencies in public, private and civil society sectors.

Investors – individuals and agencies that are responsible for conventional water, energy, and food investments, as well as community investors and larger social impact investors. This could include development banks, national government, private finance, philanthropy, urban and city infrastructure investors.

Researchers – individuals who study intersectoral linkages through policy research, modelling, system based approaches, infrastructure and engineering, conservation and ecosystems, urban and rural interactions, etc.