Assessing the energy, water and land nexus in China
Energy, water and land are closely interlinked but policies that address these resources are mostly developed in isolation of each other. Certain policies made to alleviate stress on one particular resource may have unexpected consequences on another. In China, economic growth and an emerging middle class continue to drive the demand for energy, water and land resources which are already experiencing stress and shortfalls. The country has 22% of the world’s population but only 6% of the world’s freshwater resources and 7% of the world’s arable land with substantial regional variations in both natural and socio-economic conditions. Food, energy and water security are all important concerns for the Chinese government. Policies have been put in place to tackle growing pressures on these resources, however such plans are not integrated. There is a need for nexus-orientated approaches so that good decisions can be made to ensure the sustainable use of resources in the future. This research project takes a holistic approach in analysing the dynamic interactions between water, energy and land resources and their policies in China for current and future scenarios. The use of resources are traced from their initial sources to the services that they provide (see figure).