The Water Energy and Food Security Nexus - is it really new?

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Jeremy Bird's presentation which was delivered at the 2014 Gerald Lacey Memorial Lecture at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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The Water Energy and Food Security Nexus - is it really new?

  1. 1. The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus- is it really new? Gerald Lacey Memorial Lecture Jeremy Bird, IWMI 12 May 2014
  2. 2. Ringler, Bhaduri and Lawford, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability , Science Direct, 2014 in press Correlation of food and energy prices – and rising
  3. 3. Global Risks Report 2014, World Economic Forum ‘Water crisis’ is the third highest global risk ..extreme weather, climate change and biodiversity loss also very high Nexus- why worry now?
  4. 4. Agricultural water productivity gains reduce water and energy consumption Energy efficiency measures can reduce water footprint Sectoral “nexus wins”
  5. 5. Subsidy on electricity for groundwater pumping for irrigation Shift to more water intensive energy mix, e.g. fracking Sectoral “nexus losers”
  6. 6. …water, energy provision and food security certainly lie at the heart of climate compatible development. An emphasis on explicit negotiation of trade-offs in delivery of these water-energy-food services could enhance climate compatible development approaches. Looking at how ‘nexus thinking’ and ‘climate compatible development’ approaches could complement each other is a fruitful area for further exploration. (Mairi Dupar, CKDN ) More complex than just water, energy and food ….
  7. 7. Other sectors are taking water seriously – have we found the entry point for dialogue?
  8. 8. Proportion of energy inputs to irrigated agriculture Source: T. Jackson and MA Hanjra in Sustanable Energy Solutions in Agriculture, 2014 Surface irrigated Groundwater irrigated
  9. 9.  Increase policy coherence • Identify synergies and trade-offs and incentivize cooperation  Accelerate access • Prioritize access for the poor and marginalized to water, sanitation, energy and food  Create more with less • sustainable intensification use of land and water, increasing resource productivity  End waste and minimize losses • To reduce demands on water, land and energy, and turn waste into a resource  Value natural infrastructure • Secure, improve and restore the multi-functional values of biodiversity  Mobilize consumer influence • encouraging the catalytic role of consumers Bonn2011 Nexus: Key messages
  10. 10. Significant differences in water use intensity of biofuels
  11. 11. Different situations require different solutions – e.g. reducing food waste in different contexts
  12. 12. New partnerships are addressing nexus issues Source:NexusDialogue Source:InternationalHydropowerAssociation
  13. 13. Source:ADB Source:TheWorldBank
  14. 14. Wiley, 2013 Extensive coverage in the research community Source:TVA
  15. 15. But, is the nexus new? .. compared to basin planning and regional development
  16. 16. Mahaweli Authority, Sri Lanka
  17. 17. Trade off – irrigation and hydropower production – Kotmale dam - Mahaweli system, Sri Lanka Peronne and Hornberger, Wiley, 2013
  18. 18. Integrated Water Resources Management Acknowledgements to GWP ….a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. … a cross-sectoral policy approach, designed to replace the traditional, fragmented sectoral approach to water resources and management that has led to poor services and unsustainable resource use.
  19. 19. Some question the efficacy of IWRM 1. “Ideas of IWRM are fine, but costs of IWRM implementation must not be forgotten 2. IWRM principles should not have a monopoly on potential solutions. 3. There are imperfect alternatives to the IWRM package and its components that can solve real world water problems 4. An implemented, imperfect solution is usually better than an unimplemented ideal”. M. Giodarno and T. Shah
  20. 20. Nexus dimension to much of IWMI’s work Sustainable groundwater use Revisiting water storage Balancing built and natural infrastructure Recycling waste Urban expansion
  21. 21. Water Storage Continuum Source: McCartney & Smakhtin 2010 Reduce vulnerabilities, enhance resilience through complementary solutions
  22. 22. Underground Taming of Floods for Irrigation (UTFI) Source: Pavelic 2012
  23. 23. E.g. new approaches to rehabilitate and adapt • For example, encourage distributed storage to improve system flexibility and reliability e.g. Rajasthan: farm-storages; Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh: village tanks replenished by canal water • Modernize irrigation systems e.g. pressurized systems
  24. 24. Groundwater – a clear nexus issue two contrasting cases from India 1. Gujarat - ‘free’ electricity encouraged groundwater overuse 2. Eastern Gangetic Plain – barriers to access
  25. 25. Jyotigram in Gujarat – separate feeders • Pragmatic solution - separation of electricity supply to villages and pumps • Outcome - reduced electricity use, less groundwater use, improved power supply to domestic users Tushaar Shah, IWMI
  26. 26. Halved subsidy to agriculture Reduced groundwater overdraft Increased yields Spurred rural non-farm enterprises Now rolling out in other states Result in Gujarat
  27. 27. West Bengal – easing regulatory and pricing barriers • Agricultural growth in West Bengal had slumped by more than half • Research identified that a major obstacle to agricultural productivity was getting access to groundwater • New policies recommended by IWMI were adopted to reduce ‘red-tape’ and improve groundwater access for smallholder farmers. • The policy change could benefit more than 5.6 million smallholders
  28. 28. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Aral Sea Basin Groundwater irrigation (GWI) has higher energy and water use efficiency compared to traditional Lift Irrigation (LI) Crop Water productivity, kg/m 3 Energy productivity (kg/Kwh) LI GWI LI GWI Cotton 0.19 0.21 0.25 2.10 Vegetables 0.59 1.00 1.65 7.93 Maize for silage 1.99 1.46 2.61 14.17 Sorghum 0.55 1.66 1.54 3.30 Alfalfa 0.59 0.78 0.78 1.56 Apricots 0.16 0.51 0.44 4.92 Grapevines 0.11 0.70 0.15 1.37 GW irrigation
  29. 29. …back on the agenda in Africa and India – groundwater a major source Unlocking the potential for smallholder agriculture to improve the lives of smallholder farmers in 5 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and 2 states in India Small-scale irrigation (Giordano et al, 2012)
  30. 30. Development puts pressure on electricity, groundwater supply and water quality - Jaffna
  31. 31. Urban expansion - Hyderabad, 2003-14
  32. 32. Pulling water in from an increasing distance Hyderabad, India Krishna River Himayat Sagar Osman Sagar GW Musi River GW – Ground Water NJS – Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir Hyderabad Waste water irrigation industry Godavari Basin Krishna Basin NJS Musi River P ET Manjira Singur Godavari River water W a te r p u m p e d Waterpumped Source: van Rooijen, D.; Turral, H.; Biggs, T.W. 2005. Sponge city: Water balance of mega-city water use and wastewater use in Hyderabad, India. Irrigation and Drainage 54: 81-91.
  33. 33. Water quality improves over 40 km along the Musi River Hyderabad Sources: IWMI/J. Ensink
  34. 34. Managing transfers from rural to urban - Zhanghe Irrigation District, China • Top-down approach with water reallocated to cities • Farmers “induced” to respond with construction of 1000s of small reservoirs to capture runoff and return flow. • Research provided ways to grow more rice with less water through alternative wetting and drying and extension got the message out.
  35. 35. Result - less water, but stable production Agricultural production levels maintained… …as allocation to agriculture reduced and transferred to urban use
  36. 36. In most cities in sub-Saharan Africa, S. Asia and SE Asia, population growth has outpaced the development of sanitation infrastructure, making the management of urban waste, human excreta and wastewater ineffective. Investment in treatment will not catch up for decades. Waste – another nexus issue Source:LiqaRaschid-Sally
  37. 37. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Diluted wastewater or polluted water Untreated wastewater Groundwater Treated wastewater River Other surface water bodies Rainfed Irrigation canal Open drainage Numberofcities Source: IWMI, RR 127 Global survey of irrigation source in urban and peri-urban areas: In and around three of four cities in the developing world, farmers use polluted irrigation water for the production of high-value crops
  38. 38. Challenge: closing the nutrient loop ? Enhance efficient resource use and reuse
  39. 39. Waste to fertilizer – closing the nutrient loop Co-composting
  40. 40. Introducing business models to turn waste into an asset • Solid waste and fecal sludge composting in Asia and Africa could save billions of US$ per year, assuming a market for only 25% of the urban organic waste. • Not a new concept, but many pilots not viable or sustainable • Business models for resource recovery & reuse (RRR) target private and public investors and business schools.
  41. 41. Resource recovery and reuse - Sustainable waste and wastewater treatment Source: Drechsel Nexus benefits: Energy reduction in: Water treatment, chemical fertilizer production and transport Environmental benefits: Reduced pollution of water bodies, reduced nitrogen and phosphorous demand, reduced GHG emissions
  42. 42. Interactions between “agricultural” and “natural” ecosystems – providing multiple services Sources: McCartney, Senaratne Sellamuttu, de Silva Sustainable use of wetlands: fulfilling multiple needs through ecosystem services including food production, fisheries, storage
  43. 43. Benefit from functioning ecosystems Natural basin Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Intensively utilized basin Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Multifunctional “green” basin Provisioning services Regulatory services Cultural services Supporting services
  44. 44. Acknowledgements: Meynell, P-J. Constructed wetlands in reservoirs
  45. 45. Mekong: influence of upstream dams – dry season 2014 Source: MRCS
  46. 46. www.iwmi.org A water-secure world Sri Lanka Environmental Flow Calculator (SLEFC) A software package to provide a preliminary planning estimate of how much water should be left in rivers to ensure they remain healthy
  47. 47.  Awareness raising is spreading  Knowledge base expanding  Analytic tools being developed  Increasing evidence of engagement across sectors, particularly private sector ? Policy formulation – still predominantly sector based ? Planning systems mainly fragmented Nexus scorecard
  48. 48. Concluding thoughts on the nexus  No its not entirely new, but ‘the nexus’ frames the debate differently at a time of heightened competition – it has convening power  There is no single nexus – multi-dimensional – water, energy, food, land, climate change, natural resources, etc  In a world of increasing water demands, the consequences of not taking a cross-sectoral approach are more significant now than a generation ago  We shouldn’t turn nexus concept into a structured framework – its value lies in its principles and flexibility  Doesn’t displace other forms of planning (regulatory frameworks, SEA, IWRM, etc), but provides a focus or ‘lens’ for integration  Important to extend the knowledge base and analysis of nexus issues  Ultimate test is who is ‘sitting at the table’ to discuss the consequences and implications of policy and planning interventions
  49. 49. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Water, Land and Ecosystems Program
  50. 50. . . . with targeted interventions in a number of priority focal regions
  51. 51. iwmi.org CGIARResearch Programon Water,Landand Ecosystems wle.cgiar.org

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