Broadening the Lens: A Regional Perspective on Water, Food and Energy Integration in SADC ☆

Research paper by B. Schreiner, H. Baleta

Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 29 Oct '15Published in: Aquatic Procedia


The water-energy-food nexus is a concept increasingly being used with reference to integrated decision-making across sectors. Action in one area will impact one or both of the other areas. Sustainable development and growth can be achieved by better management of the world's ecosystems and a more strategic use of water, land and other natural resources. Water, energy and food resources are not spread evenly across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) resulting in an imbalance in endowments. Opportunities exist in sharing the benefits of particular resources across international boundaries for the benefit of the region and to optimize resource use. This paper considers each sector, investigating the current institutional support for integration and evidence of such integration taking place. Broadening the lens of integrated and regional resources planning in SADC may increase the resilience of the region and optimize the use of limited natural resources. Barriers to using the nexus at a regional scale tend to include the power of sovereignty over regional policies in addition to the physical challenges of managing resources over a large area.