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Ss21 A Normative Framework For The Water Food Energy Environment Nexus

World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
Special session 21: The Battle To Frame Water Security
Author(s): Bruce Lankford

Bruce Lankford, Edinburgh, May 2015


Current frameworks for the nexus
  • Most if not all current nexus frameworks are descriptive and heuristic; they describe what a particular nexus formulation comprises and how these components of the nexus are arranged (WEF, 2011; Stigson, 2012; ICIMOD, 2012; IISD, 2013; SEI, 2014).
  • Components commonly include the water, energy and food sectors plus sub-dimensions such as institutions, infrastructure, markets, etc.
  • These frameworks serve to remind us of the scope and make-up of the nexus. As useful as these are, alongside these, a normative interpretation of nexus theory would more explicitly guide thinking on sustainability in the nexus.
As an example: the planetary boundaries framework is ‘normative’. It attempts to guide us towards sustainable living or the idea of sustainability as a norm. There is a ‘thesis’ or an ‘ought’ implied in the framework.
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