The concept of Water-Energy-Food Nexus and its Comparison with Integrated Water Resources Management

Document Type : Review


1 Department Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran

3 Professor, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University


Today, scientific research on the types of Nexus, especially the water- energy- food Nexus as the driver of improving the welfare of society, is expanding. Since the Nexus approach is relatively new and requires the cooperation of several fields, explaining the concepts, its literature review, with a special focus on the water- energy- food Nexus is essential. This article aims to express Nexus approach simple and clear, by a detailed review of several related articles from 2011 to 2021. Articles were reviewed and categorized by year, source variety, and topic. So the outline of the formation of the Nexus approach, water- energy- food Nexus and the questions raised about this approach were codified in a way that provides a practical insight for policy making. In general, the Nexus approach, especially the water- energy- food Nexus which creates a very complex system and must be considered from a political, social and economic perspective, is difficult to implement. However, the Nexus approach is transitioning to an important component of development planning, and its success requires the guidance of strategic policies and institutional structures in multilevel governance. It seems that countries need to reform their governance structures in line with the Nexus approach. Another issue that has been considered in this article is the difference between the Water- Energy- Food Nexus approach with the approach of integrated water resources management. Due to the similarities, there are doubts about the need to move from integrated water resources management to Water- Energy- Food Nexus.


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