Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Groundwater: Can the Nexus Support the Sustainable Management of Transboundary Aquifers?

Imad Antoine Ibrahim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In recent years, the international community has witnessed the rise of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus concept, which was introduced to ensure that the synergies between the three sectors were taken into account. This chapter addresses the question of whether this term can be legally implemented in the framework of international groundwater law and whether doing so would actually strengthen the global groundwater regulatory framework. In particular, would the incorporation of the Nexus concept into international and transboundary water conventions and instruments dealing with groundwater resources provide new means of preventing the depletion of transboundary aquifers? The chapter points out that there are many issues that must be taken into account before considering the establishment of a WEF Nexus legal framework. It notes that there is no proof that nations sharing water resources would include a WEF Nexus provision in their regional agreements or that they would comply with such provisions. These research findings are very important as it is still not clear how the WEF Nexus concept will be implemented in law or, indeed, whether such implementation is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability and Law
Subtitle of host publicationGeneral and Specific Aspects
EditorsVolker Mauerhofer, Daniela Rupo, Lara Tarquinio
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-42630-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-42629-3, 978-3-030-42632-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Groundwater
  • International agreements
  • International water law
  • UN Watercourses convention
  • UNECE Nexus methodology
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus


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