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Sustainability for water, energy, and food through integrated water information and improved governance

An integrated approach to researching key resources of water, energy and food is needed to ensure the sustainability of key resources for present and future generations. The ability for new sustainability assessments is gaining more focus as water information is attaining new levels of sophistication. In this cluster activity, water and land information will be used to explore the potential integration between water, energy, and food and to identify the decision-making pathways needed to promote sustainability across these sectors. 

This clustering activity will develop a plan for research and application activities in order to improve the sustainability of water resources and the essential productivity of energy and food systems, and advance integrated application of sustainable development principles in the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus at all scales. This new research agenda will rely on Earth observations and derived integrated water information, further development and mainstreaming knowledge and decision-support tools, and the application of good governance and management principles to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in the water, energy, and food sectors with a specific emphasis on the WEF Nexus.

It is expected to result in the creation of substantive guidance on developing a program of research activities that will enable more effective use of Earth observations, observed data, and innovative governance approaches for the WEF Nexus; a statement on the needs for data and information in the WEF nexus; new tools and best practices for the use of water and land data and modelling in decision-making; and articles in widely read journals.

This activity will bring together experts in water, energy, land and food from across the disciplines.

As part of this Cluster activity, the Global Water System Project (GWSP) and Texas A and M University (TAMU)  are organizing a workshop entitled “Research gaps in the integrated observations and improved governance for the W-E-F Nexus” to be held in Washington D.C. from June 1 to June 3, 2015.

This workshop is the first of four being held in different regions of the world in connection with the initiative. Each workshop will focus on one or two sectors as well as the overall issue. In addition to addressing general W-E-F Nexus issues, the June 2015 workshop will focus on concerns related to land management, water management, information systems, including Earth observations, governance approaches and the use of data and model outputs in decision-making. In particular, the goals of this workshop are:

  • Identify gaps in our understanding and our ability to resolve W-E-F Nexus issues.
  • Explore the role of governance in the Nexus with an emphasis on water and land management policies and the role of the public and private sectors at local, national and international levels.
  • Identify observation types, datasets, tools, pilot projects and program strategies whereby Earth observations can be effectively integrated into decision-making within emerging W-E-F Nexus collaborations.
  • Explore trans-Atlantic opportunities for scientific, business, government and civil society links and collaborations in the Nexus.

The Global Water System Project (GWSP) and its follow-on on Sustainable Water Futures in the Future Earth programme will play a lead role in documenting the findings of the workshop and ensuring that the results are integrated with other workshops and programmes.

Presentations at this workshop will include both invited and unsolicited papers. Space will be available for posters and a viewing session is planned in conjunction with a reception on June 2, 2015. Oral presentations will generally be restricted to overview talks and the focus will be on discussion of information systems, data and research needs, policy development opportunities and governance issues.

For more information on the agenda and how to register for the workshop, please go to Space is limited, so you are encouraged to register early for the workshop.

Important dates to note:

April 15, 2015: Deadline for abstract submission

May 1, 2015: Notification of acceptance of papers

Distribution of workshop agenda

June 1-3, 2015: Workshop dates