NexusAsia was a 2-year research project (2013-15) funded by the Academy of Finland, affiliated with the Academy programme ‘Sustainable Governance of Aquatic Resources’ i.e. AKVA.

The full name of the project is ‘Water-energy-food nexus: a cross-sectoral analysis of large Asian river basins’. The research looked at in analytical and cross-sectoral manner the management of water and related natural resources in large Asian river basins, with a focus on transboundary settings shared by several countries.

The research took as its conceptual starting point the so-called water-energy-food (security) nexus approach, which focuses on the interconnections between water, food and energy and their related security aspects (e.g. Hoff 2011World Economic Forum 2011Bach et al. 2012European Union 2012Granit et al. 2013Jalilov et al. 2013Keskinen et al. 2013Kattelus et al. 2013UNESCAP 2013Allouche et al. 2014).

The key outcome of the project is a Journal Special Issue ‘Water-energy-food nexus in large Asian river basins’ to be published by Water journal. Check out the Special Issue flyer for more information, and the Special Issue website for the 11 published articles and an editorial: all of them open access.

The NexusAsia research builds on and extends our earlier research related to the water resources management in large Asian river basins, including research projects on IWRM-LABExploring Tonle Sap FuturesCPWF Mekong Basin Development Challenge, and Central Asian Waters.

Our work on water-energy-food security nexus continues also in Strategic Research Councilfunded Winland research project:


Selected NexusAsia-related events

NexusAsia project in AKVA Final Symposium 8.-9.12.2016

Visiting Lecture by Associate Professor Jamie Pittock of Australian National University ANU 

Water-energy-food nexus seminar, including keynote from Professor emeritus Gustaf Olsson from Lund University

Check also the presentation given by Olli in the Academy of Finland’s AKVA Research Programme seminar on 24.11.2015: link.


Selected publications related to NexusAsia project

Guillaume, J.H.A., Kummu, M, Eisner, S. & Varis, O. 2015. Transferable Principles for Managing the Nexus: Lessons from Historical Global Water Modelling of Central Asia, Water, 7(8), 4200-4231; doi:10.3390/w7084200

Jalilov, S., Keskinen, M., Varis, O., Amer, S. & Ward, F.A. 2016. Managing the water–energy–food nexus: Gains and losses from new water development in Amu Darya River Basin, Journal of Hydrology, 539: 648–661. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.05.071

Jalilov, S., Varis, O. & Keskinen, M. 2015. Sharing Benefits in Transboundary Rivers: An Experimental Case Study of Central Asian Water-Energy-Agriculture Nexus, Water, 7(9), 4778-4805; doi: 10.3390/w7094778

Kattelus, M., Kummu, M., Keskinen, M. Salmivaara, A. and Varis, O. 2014. China’s southbound transboundary river basins: a case of asymmetry, Water International, 40(1): 113-138; doi: 10.1080/02508060.2014.980029 [pdf]

Kattelus, M., Salmivaara, A., Mellin, I., Varis, O. & Kummu, M. 2015. An evaluation of the Standardized Precipitation Index for assessing inter-annual rice yield variability in the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna region, International Journal of Climatology. doi: 10.1002/joc.4489

Keskinen, M. & Varis, O. 2016. Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Large Asian River Basins, Water 8(10), 446. doi: 10.3390/w8100446 [pdf]

Keskinen, M., Guillaume, J.H.A, Kattelus, Mirja, Porkka, Miina, Räsänen, T.A. & Varis, O. 2016. The Water-Energy-Food Nexus and the Transboundary Context: Insights from Large Asian Rivers, Water, 8(193) doi: 10.3390/w8050193 [pdf]

Keskinen, M., Rekolainen, S., Sojamo, S. & Varis, O. 2016. Riskit hallintaan vesi-energia-ruoka –nexuksen avulla? Vesitalous 57(4): 24-26 (4/2016). [pdf]

Keskinen, M., Someth, P., Salmivaara, A. & Kummu, M. 2015. Water-Energy-Food Nexus in a Transboundary River Basin: The Case of Tonle Sap Lake, Mekong River Basin, Water, 7(10), 5416-5436; doi: 10.3390/w7105416 [pdf]

Räsänen, T.A., Joffre O., Someth, P., Tran Thanh, C., Keskinen, M. & Kummu, M. 2015. Model-based assessment of water, food and energy trade-offs in a cascade of multi-purpose reservoirs – A case study from the Sesan tributary of the Mekong River. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 141(1), 05014007 doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000459

Salmivaara, A., Porkka, M., Kummu, M., Keskinen, M., Guillaume, J.H.A. & Varis, O. 2015. Exploring the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Spatial Water Assessments: A Case of Water Shortage in Monsoon Asia, Water 2015, 7(3), 898-917; doi:10.3390/w7030898

Varis, O. 2014. Curb vast water use in central Asia, Comment, Nature, Vol: 514: 27-29. doi:10.1038/514027a [pdf]

Varis, O., Enckell, K. & Keskinen, M. 2014. Integrated water resources management: horizontal and vertical explorations and the ‘water in all policies’ approach. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 30(3): 433-444. doi: 10.1080/07900627.2014.912130 [pdf]

Zheng, X., Wang, C., Cai, W., Kummu, M & Varis, O. 2016. The vulnerability of thermoelectric power generation to water scarcity in China: Current status and future scenarios for power planning and climate change, Applied Energy 171: 444–455. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.03.040


More information: Marko Keskinen, Olli Varis

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