Mark Smith, Director Water Programme, IUCN
Creating a sustainable and renewable water-energy-food nexus
There is a growing understanding of the tight relationships between water management, energy generation and use, and food production. On the one hand, the water needs of energy production from fossil fuel production, nuclear power plants or crops have gotten the attention of the energy community. Likewise agriculture production has to overcome major water use inefficiencies if we are to produce the food and fibre for future generations. On the other, water managers are more and more aware of their energy bill and the opportunities to reduce it. Similarly cities and industries are starting to work with farmers to make better use of available water through investing in efficiency and re-use between sectors.
The next frontier is to accelerate the use of a range of renewable energy approaches in water management. This includes renewable energy (wind, solar) to power pumps and water treatment. It also entails producing energy from the water and used water cycle from biogas or mini hydro. Where are the opportunities to address the water, energy-food-nexus through accelerating the shift to renewable energy? How do decentralised vs centralised energy – water management strategies play out in developing and emerging economies?
Walid Mehalaine, Manager, OPEC Fund for International Development, Vienna, Austria
Andrew Noble, Deputy Director -International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Beirut, Lebanon
Moulay Driss Hasnaoui, Head, Water Resources Division, Ministry delegate for Water, Morocco
Royol Chitradon, Director of Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII), Bangkok, Thailand