Working Group on Water Food Energy Nexus (WG-WFE-N)

Water, energy and food are essential for human well-being and sustainable development. Global projections indicate that demand for freshwater, energy and food will increase significantly over the next decades under the pressure of population growth and mobility, economic development, international trade, urbanization, diversifying diets, cultural and technological changes, as well as climate change and other natural processes. The link between water, energy and food is inextricable in that water is an input for producing all kinds of agricultural crops and along the entire agro-food industry and supply chain. Energy in turn is required to produce and distribute water and food through processes such as pumping ground or surface water, powering tractors and irrigation machinery, and to process and transport agricultural goods. In more explicit terms, using water for irrigation might promote food production but it can also affect river flows and hydropower potential; growing crops under irrigation for bioenergy production can increase overall water exploitations and threaten food security; upgrading surface irrigation systems into more efficient pressurized techniques may conserve water but may also lead to higher energy consumption. Understanding and recognizing the diverse synergies and trade-offs involved between the three components is, thus, critical to ensure balance between water, energy and food security.

To this end, the global community is well aware of food-energy-water challenges, but has often addressed them in isolation, within sectoral margins. At the country level, fragmented sectoral responsibilities, lack of coordination, and inconsistencies between legal and regulatory frameworks has led to misaligned benefits and stress to the natural resources.

With a particular relevance to the Irrigation and Drainage sector, there lies the key question of food security in many developing countries. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that by 2050, population growth will result in doubled demand for food globally. The resulting present and anticipated challenges entail that innovative approaches have to be adopted to increase food production in order to meet the growing demand. Irrigation development is thought to be a preeminent strategy to answer food security challenges which now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals made for human use. In this perspective, many developing countries are vesting ambitious plans to expand irrigated agriculture. Strategies mainly highlight a shift from public to private investment and from larger to smallerscale systems in irrigation by promoting the idea of affordable and effective irrigation to poor farmers worldwide. The resulting rewards of higher outputs, incomes and better diets are, however, at the expense of higher water and energy consumption. 

Notification  Scoping Document
Mandate: (a) To exchange information, knowledge, and experience, as well as networking on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus topic in order to be up to date with new developments, methods and approaches. This can be the basis for a possible position paper on key issues on the nexus. (b) To prepare an overview document on the state of the art on improving water use efficiency and productivity within the nexus. (c) to produce a document of impact of climate change and possible use of non-conventional less water consuming crops (d) To prepare an overview document on the state of the art on model applications as useful management tools for water, crops, field and energy management within the nexus (e) To prepare and present reports on case studies on recent developments in the countries that are represented in the WG; and from presented cases of the workshops (f) To organize international workshops, seminars or symposia on the Nexus topic. (g) To implement ICID 2030 vision.
Established : 2020
Sl. No. Name Email Country Membership
1 Prof. Dr. Ragab Ragab United Kingdom Chair
2 Dr. K. Yella Reddy, FIE India Secretary
3 Prof. Dr. Zeinab Hussien Behairy Egypt Member
4 Dr. P. Soman India Member
5 Ir. Adang Saf Ahmad Indonesia Member
6 Eng. Karshiyev Rustum Jurayevih Uzbekistan Member
7 Dr. Kazumi Yamaoka Japan Member
8 Ir. Felipe Dantas Australia Member
9 Mrs. Gao Hong China Member
10 Mr. Herbert H. Van Lier Italy Observer
11 Mr. Syaiful Mahdi Indonesia Observer
12 Prof. Daniele de Wrachien Italy Observer
13 Dr. Wu Di China Provisional Member