The Land-Water-Energy Nexus

Biophysical and Economic Consequences

image of The Land-Water-Energy Nexus

This report contributes to the discussion of interconnections between scarce resources by highlighting the nexus between land, water and energy (the LWE nexus). It focuses on a dynamic, integrated, and disaggregated analysis of how land, water and energy interact in the biophysical and economic systems. The report provides projections for the biophysical and economic consequences of nexus bottlenecks until 2060, highlighting that while the LWE nexus is essentially local, there can be significant large-scale repercussions in vulnerable regions, notably on forest cover and in terms of food and water security.


The analysis is based on coupling a gridded biophysical systems model with a multi-regional, multi-sectoral dynamic general equilibrium modelling assessment. Numerical insights are provided by investigating a carefully selected set of scenarios that are designed to illustrate the key bottlenecks: one scenario for each resource bottleneck, plus two scenarios that combine all bottlenecks, with and without an overlay of climate change.



The nexus between land, water and energy

This first chapter outlines the context for the global analysis of the nexus between land, water and energy. The chapter first introduces the main concepts of the landwater- energy bottlenecks. It then lays out the main research questions as well as the structure of the report, and how it fits with other recent OECD analysis that looks at nexus bottlenecks. This chapter next presents an overview of the main linkages between water, land and energy, and describes how these together provide a nexus. It then describes the main bottlenecks that can be envisaged as they relate to water use, land use and energy use, as well as the materials dimension of the nexus. Finally, it motivates why an integrated dynamic modelling approach is most suitable for investigating the interlinkages of the nexus bottlenecks.



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