An interesting paper on the water-energy-food NEXUS authored by Dr. Waleed K. Al-Zubari – Chairperson of Water Resources Management at the College of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University (AGU), Bahrain. The paper brilliantly summarizes the most important issues affecting the Arab Countries and it is a must read for understanding the challenges posed by water scarcity, food insecuity and reliance on non-renewable energies.
Addressing water scarcity, both natural and human- induced, in the Arab region is considered one of the major and most critical challenges facing the Arab countries. This challenge is expected to grow with time due to many pressing driving forces, including population growth, food demand, unsettled and politicized shared water resources, climate change, and many others, forcing more countries into more expensive water sources, such as desalination, to augment their limited fresh water supplies. The heavy financial, economic, environmental, as well as social costs and burden to be borne cannot be overemphasized.
Furthermore, the water scarcity challenge in the region is being compounded by its multiple nexuses with the various development sectors, such as water and human health, water and environment, water and food, water and energy, and many other interdependencies, which carry within them many cross-cutting issues of human rights, social, economic, legal, technical, political, and security nature. It is therefore important to address much more explicitly the various linkages of the water sector with other sectors like energy, food, health, and economic development as a whole. Moreover, professionals in all sectors should think and act beyond the boundaries of their own sector, to achieve effective and integrated resources planning and management.
Based on the current trends in population growth and their associated water, food, and energy demands in the Arab region, water security, energy security and food security are inextricably linked, perhaps more than any other region in the world, and actions in one area have strong impacts on the others. Hence, a nexus approach that integrates management and governance across these three sectors can improve security issues.
Read/download the full paper [.pdf - 760 KB]