• Non-ICIMOD Publication

Beyond Hydropower: Towards an Integrated Solution for Water, Energy and Food Security in South Asia

  • Rasul, G.
  • Neupane, N.
  • Hussain, A.
  • Pasakhala, B.
South Asia is energy-poor, water-stressed, and food-deficient, and these problems are expected to intensify with high population growth, rapid economic growth and industrialization, urbanization, and changing climate. Although the water, energy, and food security challenges are interconnected, they are dealt with in isolation, which fails to address the challenge of trade-offs and exacerbates the problems. The increased resource scarcity underlines the need for integrated solutions which ensure optimal resource use and maximize benefits. This article uses a nexus perspective to explore possible integrated solutions that support multiple uses of water at different scales and times. The analysis shows that the potential of water resources is underdeveloped and synergies between water, energy, and food are not fully harnessed. With proper coordination and management, water resources can generate multiple benefits for both upstream and downstream areas, including regional public goods such as regional connectivity and flood and drought management.
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