Water-Energy-Food for Policymakers: What does it mean?

By Dimple Roy, Livia Bizikova, Karla Zubrycki, Karla Zubrycki on January 28, 2015

In developed and developing countries alike, there is increasing demand for water, energy and food (which combine to form what is called the WEF nexus).

The growing demand for these three essentials, combined with the realization that many traditional approaches to satisfying this demand are unsustainable (i.e., they result in groundwater depletion, nutrient loading to waterways, climate change, etc.), is requiring society to find smarter and more integrated ways to provide these fundamentals.

In Canada, IISD is designing and implementing WEF-inspired watershed-based management that realizes the multiple benefits of well-managed landscapes. Building on its expertise and knowledge of watershed-based ecosystem services, IISD combines principles of ecological design, stakeholder consultation, watershed modelling and policy research to develop practical solutions for WEF in the context of development interventions, including those related to agriculture and mining. In multiple countries, IISD is working with partners to identify, quantify, monitor and manage key natural, social, economic and social components of WEF security.

Two examples given in this brochure of IISD’s engagement with WEF security include its work developing cattail-based value chains in the Lake Winnipeg watershed (Canada) and working with stakeholders in Suriname to help them understand and improve WEF in the context of mining.   

Guide details

Water Innovation Centre
Focus area
Act Together
IISD, 2015