Lack of power in Zambia caused local food insecurity. Photo credit: Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT on Flickr by CC 2.0
Lack of power in Zambia caused local food insecurity. Photo: Florence Sipalla / CIMMYT, Flickr.

In Africa’s energy and agricultural transitions, there will inevitably be trade-offs over water, and at the same time potential synergies to tap into. Plans and policies in both sectors need to take into account competing resource needs and agree on allocations and priorities. Otherwise there is a real danger they will clash, and livelihoods, well-being and long-term development will suffer in the process.

One starting point for this kind of inter-sectoral coordination is to carry out joint assessments of the common resources available. Today, such assessments are rarely done because of a lack of data and the capacity to analyse it.

Two user-friendly planning tools developed by SEI can help, not least because they can still deliver robust results when data is limited: the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP) and the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP).

Source: Global Food Security, UK