The water–food–energy nexus in Pakistan: a biophysical and socio-economic challenge

Grigg, Nicola; Foran, Tira; Darbas, Toni; Kirby, Mac; Colloff, Matthew J.; Ahmad, Mobin-ud-Din; Podger, Geoff

We draw on previous work examining historical trends, likely future water use and food availability in Pakistan and extend the analysis to consider interactions with hydropower generation and the energy demand in food production due to pumping of groundwater for irrigation. Business-as-usual scenarios suggest growing demands for groundwater and energy use for food production as population grows rapidly. However, groundwater use is already unsustainable in many areas, and energy supply is failing to keep up with demand. Quantifying material linkages between water, food and energy provides a means to explore biophysical constraints. Characterising institutional constraints is equally important, as they can be significant barriers to effective stewardship of water, energy and food resources. The experience in Pakistan reinforces this finding, and we discuss the implications for hydrologists.

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Grigg, Nicola / Foran, Tira / Darbas, Toni / et al: The water–food–energy nexus in Pakistan: a biophysical and socio-economic challenge. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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