29 October 2015

Water, Food, & Energy: The Nexus - Wilson Center Film About India

Some people absolutely hate the term: the Nexus. In the world of water security, "nexus" is commonly used to describe the complex intersect where energy, food, and water come together, often poorly managed or understood, and the connections, links, and possibilities for conflict or cooperation. can manifest. 

Water, food, and energy are at the core of what we, as a civilization, hold essential: water and food, and energy for everyone, but in vastly different forms. Too often, the big energy generation that comes from hydro-generation, nuclear, & coal for the greater good, comes at a cost for the environment and ecosystems (like fish in the case of this film) and at a cost for some people. 

The people that pay the price are the ones who lose land and water access due to flooded reservoirs behind hydropower dams, or the ones who live downwind of a coal-burning plant, or those whose land and water have been designated or contaminated due to nuclear waste, or the ones who will never see a clear sky, clean water, the environment of a long-ago memory. The environments are at risk due to their geography. The people are at risk due to their lack of opportunities and economic/political position. In the end, all of us pay the price.

A recent production: Broken Landscape: Confronting India’s Water-Energy Choke Point from Washington, DC-based Wilson Center highlights the complexity and sometimes failure of the coordination between needs of water, food, and energy for the environment and for people living where these three necessities interface. Their film won the 2015 Silver Telly Award and is very much worth 13+ minutes of your time. Get a glimpse of how the conflicts of water, food, and energy can manifest and please think about new ways in which we can address these three needs harmoniously. The future holds only more of these potential conflicts as our populations increase along with increased demand for limited resources of food, water, and energy.  Check out the Circle of Blue's Choke Point series for more information.