Report: 2nd Urban Water-Energy-Food (W-E-F) Nexus Workshop, 3-4 October 2017, India


Feasibility study for pilot projects


The “2nd Urban Water-Energy-Food (W-E-F) Nexus Workshop” was held on 4th October 2017 at the German House, Delhi, preceded by a networking dinner at Lalit Hotel on 3rd October. This workshop was a follow-up of the first W-E-F Nexus workshop at IIT Madras, Chennai in March 2017. These workshops are part of the “Urban W-E-F Nexus” research project being conducted at TUM at the Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering, supported by the Bavarian State Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection.

TUM recognises the current and upcoming water-related challenges and believes the W-E-F Nexus approach is a very promising integrated urban planning approach to address these: it highlights the strong inter-linkages between the water, energy and food sectors, and underlines responsible governance. Decentralised urban water reclamation and reuse coupled with resource recovery at neighbourhood scale is a key opportunity to operationalise the W-E-F Nexus approach. Globally, few examples at neighbourhood scale exist, and more pilot projects are urgently needed to assess the feasibility of implementation and monitor results.

In March 2017, 1st Urban W-E-F Nexus Workshop successfully brought together academics and practitioners from India and Germany to discuss the modelling, implementation and monitoring of a potential W-E-F Nexus pilot project in India, and different types of urban water reclamation and reuse technologies relevant to the neighbourhood scale and their suitability.

The 2nd Urban W-E-F Nexus Workshop brought together academics and practitioners from India and Germany as well as representatives of various towns and cities in India. The topics discussed included the content of a potential WEF Nexus feasibility study at neighbourhood scale, and suitable cities in India for such a study and pilot project implementation.

After input talks by Dr. Shesth Tayal of TERI, Prof. Mohan Kumar of IISc Bangalore, Dr. Vaibhav Chaturvedi of CEEW, Prof. Anik Bhaduri of Water Future, Mr. Sonam Dawa of LEDeG, Mr. Stanzin Tsephel of BORDA, Ms. Kamini Issar-Ernst of FICCI and Prof. Jörg Drewes of TUM, representatives of the cities Leh, Rajkot, and Jabalpur introduced on-going initiatives. Then, to identify key opportunities and barriers to internationalisation of the W-E-F Nexus approach, the participants formed four groups to discuss the topics and develop the respective results as follows:

  1. Integrative implementation, technology:
    A long-term horizon, new knowledge, and new agencies for integrated urban planning are needed to enable “cross-silo” learning. Development of a Nexus indicator set is needed to measure degree of success and integrated management of resources, and local level pilot projects, supported by central
    level guidelines on integrated resources management, to enable a trickle-down effect.
  2. Knowledge transfer, case studies:
    The Smart City mission was recognised as a new management model. To support this, improved creativity, learning from IWRM and from
    mistakes, as well as comprehensive compilation of case study stories are needed.
  3. Governance, finance:
    Political lobbying is needed as well as stricter rules and regulations. Cascading tariffs on pollution could be a possible approach. A business model could also be industries sharing a sewage treatment plant.
  4. Capacity building:
    Water boards were identified as key partners. State-level discussion on W-E-F Nexus was also seen as a key for awareness building for policy-making.

This workshop was co-organised by the Water Future Programme of Future Earth, GIZ and ICLEI, and funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection, a TUM Global Incentive Fund and the IGCS in cooperation with DAAD.

Thank you to all the speakers and to all participants for the valuable inputs!

Further Information:

  • For any questions regarding the content of the TUM WEF Nexus research project, please contact Daphne Gondhalekar


News Item and Photo Courtesy Of: 
Daphne Gondhalekar
Member of the Urban Water Systems Working Group