Wef Nexus – Applying An Inter-sectoral Lens To Meet Growing Needs
energyⁿ manager|July - September 2019
Ritu Thakur of the CDKN-Asia team and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia, describes how an inter-sectoral development approach in Nashik, the "backyard of Mumbai", is helping meet people's growing needs for water, energy and food.

High paced urbanisation along with population Hand economic growth has put tremendous pressure on existing resources, especially water, energy, and food. The decision-makers are facing an increasing number of trade-offs and potential conflicts among these resources that have complex interactions. Cities, as the engines of growth, are facing challenges in ensuring sustainable access to land, resources and basic services for their citizens. With climate change adding to the existing pressure, there is a growing realisation of the importance of a water-energy-food ('WEF') nexus approach.

If water, energy and food security are to be achieved simultaneously, political and administrative decision-makers need to consider the impact of their decisions on the involved sectors, including conflicting demands.

The need for innovative approaches and strategies in meeting the resource demands and in addressing the interdependencies between sectors has become evident. The web of interdependencies and complexities between water, food and energy requires smart and well-informed decisions, taking into account the impact on each of the involved sectors and the implications for different stakeholders, ranging from policy-makers to communities and others.

However, in reality, inter-sectoral approaches are challenged by fragmented sectoral mandates and responsibilities. There is a lack of coordination (horizontally and vertically) and existing inconsistencies between rules and regulations which often lead to counterproductive incentives. If water, energy and food security are to be achieved simultaneously, political and administrative decisionmakers need to consider the impact of their decisions on the involved sectors, including conflicting demands.

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