water-energy-food nexus

Synonyms

nexus, water, energy and food security nexus

Definition

The Water, Energy and Food Nexus takes a holistic approach that takes into consideration the trade-offs that exits between water, energy and food and tries to overcome traditional silo-thinking.

Wikipedia definition (similar term):

There is no formal definition for the water-energy nexus – the concept refers to the relationship between the water used for energy production, including both electricity and sources of fuel such as oil and natural gas, and the energy consumed to extract, purify, deliver, heat/cool, treat and dispose of water (and wastewater) sometimes referred to as the energy intensity (EI). The relationship is not truly a closed loop as the water used for energy production need not be the same water that is processed using that energy, but all forms of energy production require some input of water making the relationship inextricable. Among the first studies to evaluate the water and energy relationship was a life-cycle analysis conducted by Peter Gleick in 1994 that highlighted the interdependence and initiated the joint study of water and energy. In 2014 the US Department of Energy (DOE) released their report on the water-energy nexus citing the need for joint water-energy policies and better understanding of the nexus and its susceptibility to climate change as a matter of national security. The hybrid Sankey diagram in the DOE's 2014 water-energy nexus report summarizes water and energy flows in the US by sector, demonstrating interdependence as well as singling out thermoelectric power as the single largest user of water, used mainly for cooling.

Source: Wikipedia - Water-energy nexus