FEWLB: Food, Energy, Water, Land-Use & Biodiversity Nexus

FEWLB - The Food Energy, Water, Land and Biodiversity Nexus, is a 3 phased project that looks to inform decision making and project development to foster sustainable resource use and development within the Berg River Catchment area. Phase 1 of this project is already under way, and Phase 2 and 3 to follow shortly. The project is funded by the British High Commission and the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC)

The Berg River catchment represents an excellent example of a resource under pressure at the nexus of water, food and energy. Pollution in the Berg River catchment, however, is a cause of great concern especially to communities, farmers and industry in the various municipalities of the West Coast and Cape Winelands regions. Various stakeholders have implemented initiatives to address the pollution concerns raised. In addition, there is increasing concern that the water will not be adequate in future to service the entire region – in particular, that the planned industrial development at Saldanha will not be possible with the predicted future resource unless the management of that resource is changed significantly. It must be noted here that, in relation to government powers and functions, the Berg River extends across all three spheres of government.

Given the fact that the nexus between food, water and energy represents a complex system, cooperation between the WCG, Berg River stakeholders and the academic institutions in the province becomes increasingly important. A number of studies are already focused on the Berg River/Saldanha area. The work contemplated in this research proposal is not intended to duplicate what is already underway, but will add to and complement current research work; it is also anticipated that while formal agreement on the research agenda proposed here may be reached within the CHEC context, funding for a large part of the research will have to be found from other sources.

Research Team