In Asia and globally, the water-energy-food nexus has received growing attention from policy makers, researchers, and practitioners.
A key premise of ‘the nexus’ is that water use is interdependent with energy and food production. Thus, from a nexus viewpoint, the relationship between water, energy and food should be understood, and if demand increases in one then trade-offs must be managed with the others.
Whilst the nexus as a concept seems to be gaining momentum among experts, it is also subject to scrutiny. For example, in many global narratives of the nexus to date, large-scale technologies of mass production for meeting food and energy demand are emphasized, together with market-based responses. This approach, however, when translated into practice can also result in the redistribution of access to water and other natural resources away from local small-scale users of these resources. Despite the potential for these redistribution to result in conflict, to date the nexus concept is yet to adequately address the issue of 'nexus governance' and issues of environmental justice within it.
In response to this and other emerging debates about the nexus in Asia, in September 2014 two panels were hosted at the “Mekong Region and ASEAN in Transition” conference at Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. The first panel considered the role of the nexus from a regional perspective across Southeast Asia and beyond, whilst the second panel explored it from a local perspective and in the context of past large water infrastructure projects in Northeast Thailand. Both panels were filmed and can be viewed below.
The 2 short films were produced by Dr Carl Middleton, one of the partners of SUMERNET and the film can be viewed at the website of the Centre for Study of Developing Society (CSDS) in Chulalongkorn University (pls see link below).