WATER FOOD ENERGY ECOLOGY NEXUS

Water, food and energy are the basic needs of mankind and they are also important locomotives in ensuring sustainable development. In other words, the security of these three elements is directly affected by population growth, urbanization and climate change. Especially in this process it is important that the efficient use of water resources and the balance of supply and demand can be preserved.

Water is used for hydroelectric production, thermoelectric cooling, oil extraction, refining and fuel production. Energy is used to extract, purify and transport water. Also water and energy are used for cereal production while bio-fuel is used for energy. There is an interdependency between water and energy. Energy and water demand increases. Whereas the water stress is also increasing day by day. This situation is of great importance in the physical, economic and environmental sustainability of energy projects. Providing water and energy security for sustainable growth is one of the necessary preconditions.

2.8 billion people live in regions where water scarcity is intensely felt while 2.5 billion people cannot reach electricity in the world. Foreseen by 2035, energy consumption will increase by 35 percent and water consumption by 85 percent. The amount of water used for energy production in 2010 is 583 billion cubic meters, which is 15 percent of the total amount of water consumed in the world. 66 billion cubic meters of water used for energy production does not return to its source. It is stated that for 2035 this figure will increase at a rate of one percent, and the amount of waste water that will not return to the source will increase by 85 percent.

Reflection of population growth and rising living standards to the food consumption increases the food demand in the world. Researches show that, food needs of world population, which will be 9 billion by 2050, will be doubled. Based on this information, water demand will increase 5500 billion cubic meters and this amount is equal to the capacity of 55 Aswan High Dam every year. According to the estimates made for the same year, rain-fed agriculture will increase by 5 percent, irrigated areas by 7 percent and the abstracted amount of water by 10-14 percent. When growing food demand and changing diet are considered, the amount of consumed water is important in food production. For example, to produce 1 kilogram of beef 15 cubic meters of water should be consumed, 1,5 cubic meters of water for 1 kg of cereals, 5,3 cubic meters of water for 1 pound of cheese and 1 cubic meters of water for 1 kg of fruit should be consumed.

Effective use of water can be ensured by effective irrigation. Especially in this regard, while water and land management should be together, it is also suggested to raise awareness of farmers on this issue Intensive use of groundwater for the production of food is a noticed reality. In this respect the controlled use of groundwater is also required. Agriculture plays a central role in the coordination and dissemination of sectoral policies. The water-food-energy linkage policies need to incorporate the resource efficiency of policies and environment into this system. Protection of biodiversity should also be included in environmental targets in this process. Water and food waste in the world has great proportions. While policies are being created, food waste must be included in water and energy footprint calculations. Moreover, virtual water has been brought to the agenda and discussed to take part in politics.

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