June 14, 2016 AgricultureEnergySociety

Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus: Final Dialogue Synthesis Paper 2015

Increasing urbanisation and economic growth provide significant benefits, but also pose a range of challenges especially for water quantity and quality. Water, energy and food security rely on water infrastructure. Recognition of the closely bound interaction between water, energy and food (or the management of land for food, fodder, and fuel production) – the nexus – has led to new demands for water infrastructure and technology solutions.

The aim of the synthesis papers is to bring together sectoral best practice, and to make connections between the multi-sectoral components of the nexus. The papers identify and analyse the main drivers for joint solutions, and the opposing factors that limit working together across sectors. Key factors for an appropriate enabling environment are identified to allow cross-sectoral opportunities to work better and at the most appropriate scale to help bolster existing development approaches. The nexus is only valid as a point of focus if it leads to better development.

The Papers are targeted to a broad audience, but principally four main groups of stakeholders:

Policy Advisors – individuals who advise decision making committees, senior staff and individual decision makers about issues related to policy delivery and reform, investment choices, and activities to deliver national, regional, and global commitments to resource management, environmental protection, and economic development. This includes those in regulatory agencies.

Practitioners – individuals and agencies who are involved in implementing projects and programmes within or across the water- energy-food sectors. This includes those who are involved in managing and/or designing interventions that tackle competition for water or degradation of ecosystems as a consequence of different sectoral demands for water, for example water for irrigation, hydropower or cooling water, or public water supply. Practitioners include people and agencies in public, private and civil society sectors.

Investors – individuals and agencies that are responsible for conventional water, energy, and food investments, as well as community investors and larger social impact investors. This could include development banks, national government, private finance, philanthropy, urban and city infrastructure investors.

Researchers – individuals who study inter- sectoral linkages through policy research, modelling, system based approaches, infrastructure and engineering, conservation and ecosystems, urban and rural interactions, etc.

The Synthesis Papers are designed to highlight sectoral best practice, and to identify connections between the multi-sectoral components of the nexus. The papers are designed to be stand-alone documents, but also relate to each other as key thematic areas in the nexus that have been identified from stakeholder discussions during the Dialogue between 2012 and 2015.


Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in more than 140 countries worldwide, forming the large... Read full biography