Earth Observations and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)
Rome, Italy 

25-27 March 2014

In recent years, the Water-Energy-Food Nexus has become a ‘hot topic’ at international conferences, workshops and debates. The 2011 World Economic Forum identified the issue as a critical area for the global economy over the next few decades. This view has been reiterated at the 2011 Bonn Conference on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus as well as in subsequent regional and national policy consultations. Water, energy and food systems are essential to ensuring WEF security, but have come under increasing pressure due to population growth, growing demand for food and diversified diets, resource degradation and scarcity, climate change and governance issues.    

Satellite Earth observations, in conjunction with in situ data, can be used to more efficiently plan policies and programmes related to water, energy and food security. Earth observations deliver information at global, regional and local scales; provide access to regions where data are otherwise inaccessible or unavailable and deliver consistent data needed for monitoring. They support advice on water resource management, monitor trade- offs between land use and measuring local water consumption by crops, and contribute across the WEF Nexus by putting WEF issues in a geospatial context that’s coherent, reliable and unbiased.