Water-Energy-Agriculture Nexus: A Key to Economic Development
1. Director, Tetra Tech ES Inc., Gurgaon, India
2. Distribution Specialist, Tetra Tech ES Inc., Gurgaon, India
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This article demonstrates the learning’s and first hand experiences gained under the project titled “Water Energy Nexus Activity (WENEXA)”. The project was sponsored by United State Agency for International Development (USAID) under Indo-US bilateral program in energy sector. Tetra Tech was the implementation contractor for the project. Tetra Tech is thankful to USAID for providing opportunity to work in this interesting project.
Abstract: Water and Energy are our planet’s two most precious natural resources, and play a crucial role in food production. The implementation of an economic policy for water, energy, or agriculture (WEA) can have profound effects on the other resources, forming a nexus of inter-dependence. Subsides, too, can have strong positive or negative impacts depending upon the delivery mechanism and its reach (often, WEA subsidies can cover a vast geographic area and involve almost the entire population). This has created distortions in the WEA market, with some of the people paying far below the economic cost of energy or water, leading to inefficient utilization. A number of efforts are underway to improve the subsidy delivery mechanism and make WEA utilization more efficient. This article argues that only by considering the WEA nexus will the results of efforts to improve subsidy delivery or efficiency be truly balanced. It draws on the authors’ experience during the USAID-sponsored Water Energy Nexus Project (WENEXA) in India.