EESN | The Water Energy Food Nexus – An Approach for Climate Solutions


Global science reports clearly state the urgency of climate action at scale to avoid crossing irreversible tipping points. Few impacted sectors are more central to humanity’s needs than energy, water and food. Solutions and policies must reinforce positive feedbacks among these key sectors, avoiding steps in one with negative outcomes in others. But traditional expertise and practice in policymaking, investments and operations have co-existed in relative silos — hence the importance of a water-energy-food nexus approach to achieve sustainable resilience globally.

This live webcast from June 21, 2022 features Annette Huber-Lee, SM ‘87, from the Stockholm Environment Institute, who has shared her extensive experience in multisectoral analysis around the world. She has developed a Nexus Toolkit, and contributed to sustainable environmental and water resource planning and management. Daphne Gondhalekar PD ’07 from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) will discuss the urban perspective that is a main focus of her work.

Annette Huber-Lee, SM ‘87, senior scientist at SEI US, has worked for over 20 years tackling the challenges of planning and managing environmental and water resources sustainably in international and domestic regions; work based on integrated economic, engineering, ecological and social approaches, models and tools. Annette directed the Water Program at SEI US in Boston starting in 2001 and, later, the SEI Asia branch in Bangkok. She has also served as a research assistant professor and lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. From 2006 to 2008, Annette served as science leader and theme leader for the Challenge Program on Water and Food and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. She also holds a PhD in engineering sciences from Harvard University and a BS in agricultural engineering from Cornell University.

Daphne Gondhalekar PD ’07 researches and teaches on the urban water-energy-food nexus as the Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Previously at TUM’s Centre for Urban Ecology and Climate Adaptation, Daphne also is a consultant for integrated urban planning and participates in the UN HABITAT Planners for Climate Action.  Before TUM she was a senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. Daphne studied architecture at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, holds an MS in architecture and urban design from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and a PhD in urban planning and ecosystems at the University of Tokyo. She was a postdoctoral associate in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). Daphne is active with the MIT Club of Germany, in particular with its Smart Circular Cities Startup Program.  One video showing the work of her group can be found at this link:


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