One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer: Siloes, Trade-offs, and Synergies in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2019/05/20    11:30 - 13:00
    Dresden, Germany

    Lecturer: Dr Mathew Kurian (UNU-FLORES)

    Discussant: Dr Michael Krieg (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, TU Dresden)

    Dr Mathew Kurian (left) and Dr Michael Krieg (right) discuss at Nexus Seminar No. 36.

    To advance the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 6.3 – which focuses on reuse of wastewater – requires synergies. Synergies are necessary to ensure coordination between UN agencies (on norms and indicators), Member States (on coherence of policy instruments) and consumers (on perceptions of safety and affordability of services). In this lecture, Dr Kurian will discuss theoretical insights derived from an agent-based modelling approach to undertake a critical examination of the recent UN-Water directive on SDG target 6.3 and advocate for an improved understanding of factors that determine whether and how effective wastewater reuse will be possible while accommodating for regional variation and institutional change. He will demonstrate that by applying the Nexus approach it is feasible to overcome siloes by forging concepts of trade-offs and synergies to draw out coupled perspectives of bio-physical and institutional dimensions of water-energy-food interactions. By employing this proposition, he advocates for place-based observatories as a mechanism that can support valorisation of data and methodological assumptions as a precursor to robust monitoring of the SDG’s. The systematic use of literature reviews and expert opinion to develop and pilot-test composite indices via place-based observatories raises the prospect of a data light approach to monitoring SDGs; specifically, what are the merits of relying on extensive survey data compared to composite indices that while being amenable to supporting benchmarking and scenario analysis can provide the insight needed to inform decision- making and robust monitoring of global goals?

    Further Reading

    Kurian, Mathew, Scott, Christopher A., Reddy, V. Ratna, Alabaster, Graham, Nardocci, Adelaide, Portney, Kent E., Boer, Rizaldi, and Hannibal, Bryce. 2019. “One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer: Siloes, Trade-Offs and Synergies in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus”. frontiers in Environmental Science, 7(32), 1-17.
    (Available here)

    Nexus Seminar Series

    UNU-FLORES in collaboration with the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of TU Dresden is excited to announce the Nexus Seminar Series. The joint seminar series, which launched in 2015, features lectures by senior scholars that highlight all dimensions of research on the Nexus Approach, ranging from hands-on implementation strategies to theoretical debates. The Nexus Seminars serve not only as a platform for scientific exchange and cooperation between UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden but also a medium for the partner institutions to discuss their research with a broader audience.

    Taking place once a month, each seminar is open to the public and held alternatingly at UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden.

    Please find all past Nexus Seminars here.

  • One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer: Siloes, Trade-offs, and Synergies in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Slider)

    (420.8 KB JPG)

    One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer: Siloes, Trade-offs, and Synergies in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Poster)

    (1.5 MB JPG)


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