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Published on Aug 26, 2012
Water, food and energy are interconnected: agriculture accounts for about 70% of global freshwater use and can pollute freshwater supplies if mismanaged. Water is also used to generate electricity: in the USA, power generation accounts for about 50% of all freshwater withdrawals and drought in countries that use hydropower -- Ethiopia and Ghana, for example -- can lead to black-outs. Energy, in turn, is needed to fertilise and transport crops, which can themselves be used as biofuel to create energy. Large amounts of energy are also required to pump water to drier regions and, as water scarcity increases, so will the energy needed for technologies such as desalination.
Given these trade-offs and interactions, successfully addressing the triple challenge of water stress, food security and energy supplies means taking a holistic view and balancing the many competing demands. This animation takes a fresh look at the Water Food Energy 'Nexus'.