… In February, in preparation for an IRF retreat, we examined how an integrated approach could work in the context of water, energy and food-related targets, using the “nexus” framework as a guide. A growing body of research shows that water, energy and food security are closely interrelated, and SEI and others are using the nexus approach to address development and resource-use challenges around the world.

We started by simply reviewing the water-, energy- and food-related targets identified in four SDG proposals, and marking the ones that might be relevant, or connected, to targets in the other two areas. For example, ensuring safe water quality also relates to food security; similarly, recycling or treating all municipal wastewater would require energy. We found most targets were linked to other sectors. … Second, we examined the nature of cross-sectoral interactions. Some targets are interdependent; for example, increasing access to irrigation requires a steady supply of freshwater. … Our third level of analysis focused on resources and conditions as enablers of development. For example, energy is needed for water pumping, and water is needed for both hydropower and thermal power production.

Source: IRF blog, global