Submitted by guest blogger on Thu,02/21/2013

By Rebecca Welling, Project Officer with IUCN’s Global Water Programme.
Recognition and understanding of the closely-bound interaction between water, energy and food production and use – the 'nexus' – is established in these sectors, but perhaps for many, ‘this nexus’ is still not entirely understood.

So the IUCN Global Water Programme decided to better communicate what this nexus on water-energy-food is all about through infographics. As IUCN recently launched the new Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure, the nexus concept needs to be clearly understood.

The Nexus project, developed in partnership with the International Water Association (IWA), will be compiling and sharing case studies and solutions to crucial questions such as “How does watershed management help hydropower”?, “What ways of operating dams sustain wetland fisheries”?, “What technologies make irrigation more water efficient?”. A new website was set up ( and contributions are welcomed through this platform.

As a newly-appointed IUCN Water Project Officer, I’ve been involved in work under the Nexus Project: designing an infographic on the nexus to turn science into more accessible knowledge. Getting back to basics – asking questions and drawing diagrams – is where we started.

In essence, the nexus refers to the links that exist between water, energy, and food, how the functioning of one depends on the other. For example, hydropower needs a steady supply of water in order to generate energy. No water, no hydropower. Farmers need access to water for irrigation to grow their crops. No water, no food. And so on.

If we think about connecting the nexus in terms of a ‘metro map’, as the infographic illustrates, where water, energy and food are ‘metro stops’, we can begin to see that various ‘metro lines’ run back

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