International Journal of Nutrition

International Journal of Nutrition

International Journal of Nutrition

Current Issue Volume No: 3 Issue No: 3

Case Report  Open Access Available online freely Peer Reviewed Citation

A Report on Water, Energy and Food Relationship

1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Radionuclides Pollution Control and Resources, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou-510006, China.

2School of Civil Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China.

3College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, P. R. China

4Department of Soil and Environmental Science, Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan

5Department of Soil Science & SWC, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

6Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, CAAS, Beijing, P. R. China


With the possibility of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus since a long time back, overlooked interlinkages between WEF are getting the chance to be indisputable. Nonetheless, agriculture is responsible for quite a bit of fresh water over-use. Food production further effects the water and energy sectors through degradation of land, changes in overflow, disturbance of groundwater release, water quality, accessibility of water and land for different purposes. The responsibilities of this unparalleled issue include particular parts of the organization around the Nexus. While a couple of papers try to conceptualize the Nexus-Governance, this phenomenal report gives a rich combination of work for further WEF-Nexus ponders and integrative methodologies.

Author Contributions
Received 04 Jan 2019; Accepted 29 Jan 2019; Published 15 Feb 2019;

Academic Editor: Yuying Li, Professor, United States.

Checked for plagiarism: Yes

Review by: Single-blind

Copyright ©  2019 Sajid Mehmood, et al.

Creative Commons License     This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Sajid Mehmood, Muhammad Imtiaz, Muhammad Rizwan, Saqib Bashir, Gutha Yuvaraja et al. (2019) A Report on Water, Energy and Food Relationship. International Journal of Nutrition - 3(3):17-21.

Download as RIS, BibTeX, Text (Include abstract )

DOI 10.14302/issn.2379-7835.ijn-19-2585


Water security is characterized in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as “access to safe drinking water and sanitation”, the two of which have as of late turned into a human right (Cook and Bakker 2012)1. While, security of food is characterized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)2 as “access to adequate, sheltered and nourishment to meet the nutritional needs and sustenance inclinations for a functioning and solid lifecycle” (FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) 2006)2. Moreover, energy security has been characterized as “access to perfect, dependable and moderate energy administrations for cooking and warming, lighting, interchanges and profitable uses”(International Energy Agency 2015)8.

Interactions Between the Water, Energy and Food Security Sectors

The collaborations between water, energy and food are various and significant. Water is utilized for extraction, mining, handling, refining, and residual disposal of non-renewable energy sources, and additionally to develop feedstock for biofuels and for producing power. Water power changes in the energy sector, with oil and gas generation requiring substantially less water than oil from tar sands or biofuels. Picking biofuels for energy production ought to require a cautious adjusting of needs, since water that has been utilized to develop feedstock for biofuels could likewise have been utilized to grow crops (Hussey and Pittock 2012)7. Further, return streams from power plants to waterways are hotter than the water that was taken in and additionally are contaminated and can thus trade off other downstream use, including biological systems. On the other hand, energy is required for extricating, transporting, appropriating and treating water. An energy force for getting to a cubic meter of water shifts: legitimately, getting to surface water requires far less energy than pumping groundwater, recovering wastewater or desalinating ocean water. Irrigation is more energy intensive than rain-fed farming, and drip irrigation is more intensive yet since the water must be pressurized (Tirado and Meerman 2012)13. Food production is by a wide margin the biggest buyer of worldwide fresh water supplies. Internationally, agriculture is in charge of an average of 70% of fresh water utilization; in a few nations this figure hops to 80%-90%. Agriculture is accordingly responsible off quite a bit of fresh water over-use. Food production further effects the water sector through degradation of land, changes in overflow, disturbance of groundwater release, water quality, accessibility of water and land for different purposes (Hoff 2011)6. The expanded yields that have come about because of automation and other current measures have come at a high energy cost, as the full food and supply chain guarantees roughly 30% of total energy demand worldwide (Mukuve and Fenner 2015)11.

Rising Interest

Water is a limited asset serving exponentially more individuals and usages, thus guaranteeing everybody approaches a solid supply is vital to human survival and economic advancement. As water assets turn out to be more extended, the food and energy sources, reliance on water, and the way that each of the three support a few of the Sustainable Development Goals, implies that decision-making in all three domains is currently progressively concentrating on water resources management, environment protection, water supply and sanitation as a major aspect of their strategy and practice (Hoff 2011)6.

Energy Mix

Fossil fuel production; still a predominant and developing part of the worldwide energy mix, is exceedingly water intensive, as is biofuel production and the developing routine with regards to shale gas extraction. There should be substantially more help for the improvement of less water-concentrated sustainable power source, for example, hydropower and wind, before it has a critical effect on water demand (Mukuve and Fenner 2015)11.

Agricultural Effectiveness

Agriculture looks set to remain the greatest client of water in the middle of this century. While the shift to biofuels is for the most part respected, their production could demand as much water as fossil fuels. As far as food, the volume of demand is developing with populace extension, and we are seeing a noteworthy worldwide move far from the most part starch-based eating regimen to an expanding interest for more water-intensive meat and dairy as wages develop in numerous nations (Lipper et al. 2014)10.

Efficiency measures along the whole Agri-food chain can enable spare to water and energy, for example, precision agriculture dependent on data provided by water suppliers, which can rouse agriculturists to put resources into their frameworks to guarantee the best comes back from their water investment (de Janvry and Sadoulet 2009)9.

Serving Cities

A large portion of the world's quickly developing urban communities are in low-pay nations where authorities and utilities can have restricted ability to get ready for and control urban extension and its effects on water and energy demand (WWAP (World Water Assessment Programme) 2012)15. Utilization can be decreased, and supplies made more dependable, by such practices as utilizing numerous water sources, including water harvesting and wastewater reuse, and just treating water to be prepared for its planned utilize, as opposed to treating all water to a protected drinking standard. Expelling bio solids from wastewater and utilizing them for cooking or warming, for instance, can help replace petroleum products and decrease the measure of handling of the wastewater treatment plant (FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) 2006)2.

Guaranteeing Food and Nutritional Security

Globally, there is adequate water to deliver nourishment for everybody, except food and dietary uncertainty stays far reaching. Moreover, where individuals have constrained or no access to safe water or sanitation, the predominance of diarrheal diseases is a central point in high kid death rates, malnourishment and loss of profitability (Food and Agricuture Organization; World Health Organization; United Nations University 2001)3.

In water rare districts, there should be vigorous methodologies to secure water accessibility to keep up farming and maintain a strategic distance from nourishment value instability. Advances in genetics and technologies that permit the feasible heightening of crops, domesticated animals and production of fish can help take care of demand as proficiently as possible (WWAP (World Water Assessment Programme) 2012)15.

Lessening Nourishment Uncertainty

After quite a while of relative disregard, agriculture and the need to create adequate food are high on the worldwide improvement plan. Reasons to incorporate the ongoing increments in food costs is the huge number of food unreliable individuals on the planet and worries over the economical utilization of land and water assets. These issues are exacerbated by the danger of environmental and other worldwide changes, including statistic changes, urbanization, forest cover change, change in diets, outside land ventures, quickened generation of other agrarian products (Hanjra and Qureshi 2010)5.

Agricultural water management plays a focal role in food production and security. From one viewpoint, poor water management rehearses cause depletion and degradation of land and water assets. On the other hand, improved water management assumes a fundamental role in expanding food production and lessening weakness and supporting maintainable land and water assets development (Rabia Ferroukhi, Divyam Nagpal, Alvaro Lopez-Peña and Troy Hodges (IRENA); Rabi H. Mohtar, Bassel Daher and University). 2015)12.


Populace development and changes in diets because of expanding livelihoods and enhanced expectations for everyday comforts will prompt higher agricultural water demand. For instance, the creation of a meat based diets normally needs double the amount of water when contrasted with a vegetarian diet.

Demand for biofuels and fiber drives the interest for agricultural items further and henceforth builds weight in farming area and water.

Representing 70% of water separated for human purposes. Agribusiness is by far the greatest water client around the world and is a noteworthy supporter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, directly and indirectly through land use change.

Progressively, water for food is connected to ecological issues, (for example, fragmentation and evaporation of streams, salinization, eutrophication of water bodies, and depletion of lands) and biodiversity loss. In the meantime production of food will be intensely affected by changes in climate and increments in climate variability specifically.

Access to water and food is skewed: more than 860 million individuals are food insecure, while more than 1 billion are overweight.

Agriculture is a both an energy user and provider (by biofuels). The food sector represents 30% of worldwide energy use and 22% of GHG emissions. Enhanced agricultural water management can add to 'energy and climate' smart food production.

While very unpredictable, petroleum product costs demonstrate a rising pattern and numerous nations are endeavoring to enhance energy sources. Production of energy from biofuels and hydropower directly affects water and water assets and in many cases competes with food production.

Shift Into Consideration

To develop land and water assets in a practical and even-handed way and in cooperative energy with characteristic frameworks, a shift in thinking among water experts is required. A thin spotlight on water for food production not any more adequate. Rather, agricultural water management in farming needs to add to the triple objective of food and energy security, fair access and environmental integrity (Rabia Ferroukhi, Divyam Nagpal, Alvaro Lopez-Peña and Troy Hodges (IRENA); Rabi H. Mohtar, Bassel Daher and University). 2015)12.

Nexus Approach

Improver water, energy and food security on a worldwide dimension can be accomplished through a nexus approach; a methodology that coordinates management and administration across sectors and scales. A nexus approach can bolster the progress to a green economy, which points, in addition to other things, on resource use efficiency and more noteworthy policy coherence (Rabia Ferroukhi, Divyam Nagpal, Alvaro Lopez-Peña and Troy Hodges (IRENA); Rabi H. Mohtar, Bassel Daher and University). 2015)12.

Given the expanding interconnectedness across sectors and in space and time, a decrease of negative financial, social and natural externalities can build by and large resource use efficiency, give extra advantages and secure the human rights to water and food. In a nexus-based methodology, conventional policy- and decision-making in "silos" therefore would offer path to a methodology that lessens exchange offs and assembles synergies across sectors (Godfray et al. 2010; Hanjra and Qureshi 2010; WWAP (World Water Assessment Programme) 2012)4.


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  1. 1.El Ouadi Ihssan, Arabi M., Amhamdi H., Didi A., El Haji M., et al, 2023, Understanding the Climate–Water–Energy–Food Nexus and the Transition Towards a Circular Economy: The Case of Morocco, E3S Web of Conferences, 364(), 01006, 10.1051/e3sconf/202336401006