A Nexus Approach to Water, Energy, and Food Security in Northern Canada

Keywords: water; energy; food; WEF nexus; sustainable development goals (SDGs); security; northern Canada


Residents of northern Canada experience high rates of water, energy, and food (WEF) insecurity relative to the national average. Historically, WEF systems have been treated independently with little policy or institutional coordination occurring between sectors. This paper presents the results of a WEF nexus analysis for northern Canada. We assess the positive and negative interactions between the WEF sectors that could facilitate or impede the attainment of WEF-related sustainable development goals. Out of 210 pair-wise interactions, 87% were found to be synergistic of some magnitude, meaning that efforts to address insecurity in one WEF sector will have positive spillover effects toward the others. With synergies significantly outweighing trade-offs, opportunities exist to simultaneously address WEF insecurities through mutually beneficial actions that capitalize on and promote synergetic policies.