Water - Energy - Food Nexus Narratives and Resource Securities

Water - Energy - Food Nexus Narratives and Resource Securities

A Global South Perspective

1st Edition - May 17, 2022

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  • Editors: Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi, Aidan Senzanje, Albert Modi, Graham Jewitt, Festo Massawe
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323912235
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323918374

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Water–Energy–Food Nexus Narratives and Resource Securities: A Global South Perspective provides a knowledge synthesis on the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus, focusing primarily on the global south. By presenting concepts, analytical tools, and case studies, the book serves as a practical resource for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in sustainability and functional roles across all three sectors. It addresses key issues related to data availability, tools, indices, metrics, and application across multiple scales, beginning with a summary of existing knowledge. Finally, it examines the WEF nexus, presents global insights, and discusses future considerations and implications. This book presents an overview of existing knowledge on the WEF nexus and examines how such research aligns with emerging global WEF nexus perspectives, making it ideal for professionals, government entities, private industry, and the general public.

Key Features

  • Offers a conceptual framework on how to better understand the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus and its utility in natural resource management and sustainable development
  • Presents advanced analytical tools for the quantification of linkages, trade-offs, and synergies among WEF sectors
  • Utilizes global case studies to illustrate complexities across disciplines, geographies, and scales


Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in sustainability, particularly those focusing on the WEF sectors. Interdisciplinary researchers working in environmental science, hydrology, energy, and agriculture

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1. The water–energy–food nexus: its transition into a transformative approach
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The evolution of nexus planning
  • 3. Benefits for adopting nexus planning
  • 4. Concluding remarks
  • Chapter 2. Some quantitative water–energy–food nexus analysis approaches and their data requirements
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. WEF resource management tools
  • 3. Alternative methodologies, approaches, and frameworks
  • 4. Data challenges of quantitative nexus research
  • 5. Conclusions
  • Chapter 3. EO-WEF: a Earth Observations for Water, Energy, and Food nexus geotool for spatial data visualization and generation
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Method
  • 3. Capability of EO-WEF for generating data for the different sectors of the Songwe nexus
  • 4. Further development
  • 5. Conclusion
  • Chapter 4. Scales of application of the WEF nexus approach
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The local scale: household to subnational
  • 3. The national scale
  • 4. Higher-level nexus studies
  • 5. Spatial interactions in the nexus
  • 6. Conclusions
  • Chapter 5. Tools and indices for WEF nexus analysis
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Tools and approaches to analyze the WEF nexus
  • 3. Indices for WEF nexus performance assessment (analysis)
  • 4. Conclusions
  • Chapter 6. Transboundary WEF nexus analysis: a case study of the Songwe River Basin
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Case study description
  • 3. Conclusions
  • Chapter 7. Applying the WEF nexus at a local level: a focus on catchment level
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Methodology and data
  • 3. Progress with WEF nexus application at catchment level
  • 4. Way forward and conclusion
  • Chapter 8. A regional approach to implementing the WEF nexus: a case study of the Southern African Development Community
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Fostering water, energy, and food security nexus dialogue and multi-sector investment in the SADC region project
  • 3. Key planning, policy, and legal documents that are relevant for water, energy, and food security in the SADC region
  • 4. Identified challenges related to the water–energy–food nexus approach in the SADC region
  • 5. Operationalizing the WEF nexus in Southern Africa
  • 6. Key lessons from the implementation of the SADC WEF nexus regional dialogues project
  • 7. Summary and conclusions
  • Chapter 9. Exploring the contribution of Tugwi-Mukosi Dam toward water, energy, and food security
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The WEF linkage conceptual framework
  • 3. Tugwi-Mukosi Dam
  • 4. Contribution of Tugwi-Mukosi toward water, energy, and food security
  • 5. Discussion
  • 6. Summary and conclusion and policy implications
  • Conflict of interest
  • Funding
  • Chapter 10. The water–energy–food nexus as an approach for achieving sustainable development goals 2 (food), 6 (water), and 7 (energy)
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The SDGs dimensions and the WEF nexus
  • 3. Food and nutrition security
  • 4. Synergies and trade-offs in the WEF nexus
  • 5. Drivers of the WEF nexus toward achievement of SDGs 2, 6, and 7
  • 6. Upscaling and outscaling the WEF nexus as a natural resources management tool for attaining SDGs 2, 6, and 7
  • 7. Conclusion
  • Chapter 11. Enhancing sustainable human and environmental health through nexus planning
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Linking socioecological interactions with nexus planning
  • 3. Understanding the risk posed by wildlife on human health
  • 4. Modeling multisector and complex systems
  • 5. Calculating WHEN nexus indices for South Africa
  • 6. Understanding the integrated health indices
  • 7. Recommendations
  • 8. Conclusions
  • Chapter 12. Financing WEF nexus projects: perspectives from interdisciplinary and multidimensional research challenges
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The interlinkages within nexus research
  • 3. Transboundary systems and the need for interdisciplinary spaces
  • 4. Role of funding in fostering interdisciplinary dialogue
  • 5. Shared value within multidimensional challenges
  • 6. The challenge of goal setting
  • 7. Advancing nexus research
  • 8. Concluding remarks
  • Chapter 13. The Water–Energy–Food nexus as a rallying point for sustainable development: emerging lessons from South and Southeast Asia
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. A critical review into the WEF of South and Southeast Asia
  • 3. Case study: WEF in Malaysia
  • 4. Critical findings and key take-home messages
  • Nomenclature
  • Chapter 14. The water–energy–food nexus: an ecosystems and anthropocentric perspective
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Approach
  • 3. WEF case studies: MENA and Latin America
  • 4. Comparisons of the WEF nexus in MENA and Latin America
  • 5. Conclusions
  • Chapter 15. Water–energy–food nexus approaches to facilitate smallholder agricultural technology adoption in Africa
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. African context
  • 3. Literature review
  • 4. Farmer technology adoption
  • 5. Research designs for incorporating a priori assessment
  • 6. Conclusion
  • Chapter 16. Building capacity for upscaling the WEF nexus and guiding transformational change in Africa
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Status of WEF nexus research in Africa
  • 3. Development of a conceptual framework for WEF nexus upscaling and capacity development
  • 4. Capacity development for upscaling and uptake of WEF nexus
  • 5. Conclusion
  • Chapter 17. WEF nexus narratives: toward sustainable resource security
  • 1. The WEF nexus
  • 2. Key messages
  • 3. Conclusion
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 350
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2022
  • Published: May 17, 2022
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323912235
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323918374

About the Editors

Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi

Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi is an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director for the Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems, South Africa. His primary goal is to work on research and development that is dynamic, transformative, informs policy, and achieves real life impacts within poor communities. His research focus includes crop water use and crop modelling to multi- and transdisciplinary research covering food systems, global change, the water-energy-food nexus and the science-policy-practice interface. He is linked to several policy making initiatives in South Africa and southern Africa where he serves on expert panels informing policy. For this, in 2019 he was awarded with the Water Research Commission’s award for Informing Policy and Decision making. He is also a member of the editorial board for Frontiers in Climate.

Affiliations and Expertise

Honorary Associate Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Director, Cetnre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems, South Africa

Aidan Senzanje

Aidan Senzanje holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado State University (USA) and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Bioresources Engineering Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) lecturing in irrigation engineering and soil and water conservation engineering. His research interests are in irrigation technology, agricultural water management and the water-energy-food nexus. He was previously a guest editor for the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Albert Modi

Albert T Modi is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He received his Masters from the then University of Natal in the early 1990s, after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Fort Hare, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Ohio State University for his PhD. His primary research focus as an academic has been on the areas of agronomy and sustainable agriculture. He is a champion of sustainable agriculture, and of the value of indigenous knowledge in informing scientific research. In recognition of his mentorship skills, he also received a Water Research Commission Award for Human Capital Development in Water and Science Studies. He is on the editorial board of the South African Journal of Plant and Soil.

Affiliations and Expertise

Deputy Vice Chancellor, College of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Graham Jewitt

Graham Jewitt joined IHE Delft Institute for Water Education as Professor of Hydrology in 2019. Prior to this he was Director of the Centre for Water Resources Research and Umgeni Water Chair of Water Resources Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Over the past twenty years, he has led several water and earth system science related initiatives, both in South Africa and abroad, with the relationship between land and water an overarching research thrust. He is on the editorial board of the journals Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and Water SA, is a member of the management board of WaterNet, and is active in several other national and international fora. Recent work has been focused on the effective use of science to better inform land and water resources policy development, especially in developing countries, and developing tools to support the effective implementation of these.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

Festo Massawe

Festo Massawe is Professor of Crop Science and Director of University of Nottingham’s Future Food Beacon of Excellence in Malaysia. He is also the former Head of the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham. He is the co-Director of CFF-UNMC Doctoral Training Partnership (CFF-UNMC DTP) and a member of the University of Nottingham Senate. He received his PhD from the University of Nottingham, UK in 2001, and thereafter worked as a Research Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham, UK for four years. In this role, he coordinated research activities involving five countries (Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Germany and UK). Since joining UNM in 2006, Prof Massawe has continued to pursue international agricultural research and capacity development activities to fulfill his mission of achieving sustainable development through sustainable food production and provision of relevant and quality education.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, University of Nottingham, Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia; Director, Nottingham's Future Food Beacon of Excellence, Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia

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