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Nexus Report


The "Nexus", as understood in the context of this document, can be defined as the place where water, energy and agricultural security intersect. At its heart is a strong understanding of the interdependencies between these three systems. As a concept, the Nexus is being promoted as a process for allocating and using resources to ensure water, energy and food security for an ever-growing population at a time of climate change, land use transformation, economic diversification and the need to make development pay.

The study was commissioned by the International Water Association on behalf of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa. The International Union for Conservation Nature was also a partner in development of the study. It was originally intended to apply a structured analytical process to Africa’s Volta and Lake Victoria basins and using this information i) provide an overview of selected regional challenges and opportunities for multipurpose (water infrastructure); and based on that ii) to design a Rapid Assessment Framework with which to assess how current and upcoming infrastructure projects deal with nexus challenges.

A major element of the analytical process comprised an extensive review of the “Nexus” literature. The review itself suggested that a suitable point of departure for the study would be an acknowledgement that the Nexus itself can be thought of as a response to perceptions of insecurity on the part of various classes of stakeholders.

A key assumption at this point of the study was that the nexus provides an approach by which to broker a suite of trade-offs, comprises and synergies that increase the security of its three elements when defined as follows: water security, agricultural security and energy security.

In keeping with the objectives of the study and notwithstanding the fact that a nexus approach could involve political or institutional initiatives (and as such is not limited to infrastructure), a range of possible infrastructural measures was mapped into each nexus sector and onto the security expectations of the stakeholder classes. 

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Categories: ICA Publications, Water

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