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Food Should be Added to Energy-Water Nexus, EDF Says

edf logoThe global energy-water nexus, a concept gaining ground as a comprehensive  way to plan for the planet’s future, should include food, the Environmental Defense Fund says.

The link between energy and water greatly impacts the food sector, the EDF says. Stakeholders are increasingly talking about the energy-water-food nexus and how to manage growing populations and the demand on all three resources, the organization says.

The EDF recommends creating a systematic approach to solve the interconnected issues the link energy, water, food and climate change. The EDF points to a declaration submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by 300 delegates from 33 countries centers on the idea that Earth and the communities that live on it are part of a system.

The organization argues that by approaching these problems from an integrated standpoint, efficiency will be uncovered that cross sectors. For example, lowering water intensity of power choices and improving crop irrigation through smart electricity meters, EDF says.

In March, 15 leading businesses, representing 11 different sectors, including Baxter Healthcare, Sainsbury’s, GlaxoSmithKline and Nestlé, committed to looking at their carbon-water management holistically, following research by sustainability specialists Anthesis and the Water Footprint Network.

Businesses and governments must tackle energy and water use in tandem or risk major disruption, according to a report from the group. Considering water and carbon footprints in isolation as increasing demand for water places pressure on energy usage. Population increase, varying levels of precipitation and energy-intensive urbanization are all placing strain on water supplies, the report says.

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