Secure supplies of water, food and energy are essential to human dignity and well-being around the globe. In turn, the vitality of these three depends on a thriving biodiversity supported by healthy ecosystems. The complex interdependence among these four factors is known as the Nexus.
Global demand for the first three elements is increasing due to population growth and rising per capita incomes in developing countries, with steadily worsening consequences for the fourth of these elements.
The four Nexus elements are also coming under increasing pressure from climate disruption: more frequent and severe flooding and storms, droughts, extreme heat, and pest outbreaks. What’s more, Nature’s capacity to moderate these impacts is being steadily eroded by rapid, widespread land-use development and associated pollution.
This impending “perfect storm” of increasing demand, decreasing supplies and rapidly changing hydro-climatic conditions throughout the Nexus requires transformative policy responses that encompass economy, equity, social justice, fairness and the environment.
This book outlines these challenges and offers a pathway to resolving them.
About the authors
Dr. Jon O'Riordan is senior policy and research adviser to ACT, providing science-based and strategic advice. Formerly a deputy minister of sustainable resource management and an assistant deputy minister of environment with the British Columbia government, Jon is currently an adjunct professor with the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches resource planning and governance. He is also a research associate with the Polis Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria. Jon gained his PhD in geography at the University of British Columbia and has over 45 years of practical experience in land and resource planning, watershed governance and broader policies for supporting sustainability. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Robert William Sandford is the EPCOR Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nations "Water for Life" Decade and also sits on the Advisory Committee for the prestigious Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. He is a director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative, an associate of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan and a fellow of the Biogeoscience Institute at the University of Calgary. As well, he sits on the advisory board of Living Lakes Canada and is co-chair of the Forum for Leadership on Water and a member of the Advisory Panel for the RBC Blue Water Project. In 2011 he was invited to be an advisor on water issues by the InterAction Council, a global public policy think tank composed of more than 20 former national leaders, including Jean Chrétien, Bill Clinton and Vicente Fox.
Robert is the author of some 20 books on the history, heritage and landscape of the Canadian Rockies, including Water, Weather and the Mountain West (RMB, 2007), The Weekender Effect: Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns (RMB, 2008), Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World's Water Woes (RMB, 2009), Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most (RMB, 2011), Cold Matters: The State and Fate of Canada’s Fresh Water (RMB, 2012), Saving Lake Winnipeg (RMB, 2013), Flood Forecast: Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada (RMB, 2014), and Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World (RMB, 2015). He is also the co-author of The Columbia River Treaty: A Primer (RMB, 2015) and The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity (RMB, 2015). Robert lives in Canmore, Alberta.
The Climate Nexus is a motivating manifesto to address the wicked problems of waste, inequality, and undervalued environmental services. technological advancements may buffer the realities of our unfortunate destiny, but engineered environmental services can never match the myriad of benefits the natural environment provides. this book is a call to action for individuals, governments, and local and global communities.—Mikhail Smilovic, Water Canada
Academic but applicable, the book is a call for us all to be creative engineers of our future.—Amy Reiswig, Focus Magazine
Other titles by Jon O'Riordan
Other titles by Robert William Sandford
Rain Comin' Down
Water, Memory and Identity in a Changed World
The Anthropocene Disruption
Quenching the Dragon
The Canada-China Water Crisis - An RMB Manifesto
The Hard Work of Hope
Climate Change in the Age of Trump
Our Vanishing Glaciers
The Snows of Yesteryear and the Future Climate of the Mountain West
North America in the Anthropocene
The Columbia Icefield – 3rd Edition
Water and Climate Security in a Changing World
The Columbia River Treaty
Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada