Productivity and the availability of water, energy and land vary enormously between regions and production systems. There is a large potential to increase overall resource use efficiency and benefits in production and consumption, e.g. by addressing intensive agriculture (which often has higher water productivity but lower energy productivity than other forms of agriculture) or water- and energy-intensive meat products. The nexus approach can boost this potential by addressing externalities across sectors.
“Water is the key limiting factor to food production in many parts of the world,” says SEI Research Fellow Louise Karlberg. “By 2050 around 2 billion people are expected to live in low income countries where food requirements are not met due to water scarcity.”
Louise Karlberg will be discussing the roll of water for sustainable food production at a special seminar “Is there enough water to feed the world?” hosted by Swedish Water House in Stockholm in recognition of World Water Day.
SEI work on the nexus approach has had a significant global impact since it was launched at the Bonn2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus – Solutions for the Green Economy in November last year, most recently in a UN report, entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing. The water, energy and food nexus will also feature at the upcoming Planet Under Pressure conference in London where SEI experts Holger Hoff and Johan L. Kuylenstierna will discuss the challenges and opportunities around the nexus approach in the context of the integrated management of planetary boundaries.