Despite the economic prosperity that the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) enjoy due to abundance of fossil fuel reserves, the economic turmoil as a result of the recent fluctuations in oil prices exposed the unprecedented risks and challenges in securing the long-term sustainability of their water, energy, and food resources in these states. The GCC is characterized by an extreme hyper-arid climate. These states rank among the lowest in the world in freshwater resources and soil fertility, but among the highest in water, energy, and food consumption, and carbon emissions. The national income of these affluent states chiefly consists of oil exports, and the future security of their water, energy, and food resources heavily depends on maintaining high market prices of oil to sustain their ability to import food, desalinate water, and produce energy. The deep interlinkages between the availability of water, energy, and food resources at a national level have been termed the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus.
This project will: 1) investigate existing approaches to assess the WEF nexus and their relevance for understanding the nexus in the GCC states; and 2) quantify and map the trends in WEF resource use, their interdependencies, tradeoffs, and co-benefits for Kuwait and the other GCC states.
Christian is a Research Fellow in the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.