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Title: Water-energy nexus and climate change in Southern Africa : towards a modelling framework as a policy and planning tool
Authors: Prasad, Gisela
Stone, Adrian
Leone, Michele
Date: 2012
Abstract: With the increasing pressure of population on global resources and the imperative of climate change there is a growing interest in the idea of the “Energy-Water-Food Security Nexus”, essentially an application of systems thinking to planning that recognises that the resources in the nexus are intimately linked and need to be considered together. Many parts of Southern Africa are facing critical resource constraints in the water and energy sectors affecting food security and development. Both sectors will compete for limited water resources. Climate change will add another layer of complexity to the multifaceted interaction of energy and water. This interaction is the water energy nexus. The paper looks at the impact of climate change on water availability in Southern Africa and competing water needs in different sectors as well as how water resources can be increased. To respond to the research needs to realize the opportunities an analysis of the nexus can provide in terms of resource use efficiency and policy coherence an integrated approach to water and energy planning in the context of climate change is discussed and planning tools are indicated. Traditional water and energy modelling is orientated toward large infrastructure planning and large commercial irrigation projects. This paper has as its goal to propose further research to develop a modelling framework that will tackle the former with a nexus approach but also attempt to provide an effective policy tool for the interlinked water, energy and food security problems of remote and impoverished areas, including climate change as another layer of complexity These areas will usually not be attractive for large scale industrial or agricultural interventions and other means may be necessary to sustainably supply the rural poor with sustainable energy, water and sufficient food.
Project Number: 106298
Project Title: Clean Energy and Water : an Assessment of Services for Adaptation to Climate Change
Access: IDRC Only
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