WEFE Nexus

Sustainable and innovation Mediterranean path to interconnect and combine water management sustainable management of water resources, farming systems and agro-food value chains

Water, food and energy represent the three vertices of an inseparable triangle for life and human development in which synergies flow, but in which tensions are also increasing.

 The Mediterranean countries face nowadays water scarcity, decline of resource efficiency and deterioration of ecosystems which are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change and the population growth. The southern and eastern part of the Mediterranean region has become more fragile in terms of food security since an increase in undernourishment is observed due mainly to regional crises and conflicts.

Water, energy, food and ecosystems (WEFE) sectors have historically been managed independently from each other in the Mediterranean region, with limited considerations of cross-sectoral interactions. Shortages of water, energy and food does potentially harm economic and business development and also compromise social well-being. This situation begs for the integrated management of the resources and integrated governance across sectors. Such integrated approaches will strengthen human, as well as water, energy and food security, environmental and climate security and contribute to the transition to green economy and achievements of SDGs and eventually also political security. Developing potential synergies between the main actors of the Nexus can enhance efficiency and good governance of natural resources, identify co-benefits and trade-offs across WEFE sectors, and propose possible policy measures and technical actions to reduce inter-sectoral tensions.

The Nexus WEFE opportunities areas are:

Produce more with less resources
This connection addresses the Agricultural water productivity which refers to “more yield per drop”. Produce more with less by increasing productivity establishing mechanisms to identify the optimal allocation of scarce resource for productive process and sustainable intensifying the use of land and water to achieve equitable social, economic and environmentally sound development
Resilience of farming and water systems to climate changes
through a holistic crop-livestock water management system resilient to climate changes
Nexus- Circular economy
End waste and minimize losses by reducing waste and losses along supply chains to capture significant economic and environmental gains within and across sectors and reduce demands on water, land and energy.
Nexus – Governance
Increase policy coherence by ensuring that synergies and trade-offs among water, energy and food are identified both in design and implementation policies, plans and investments.