Submission Guidelines

The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host the Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference on March 3-7, 2014. The Conference will bring together researchers and practitioners working in government, civil society and business, focusing on the nexus approach. Building on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus Conference held in Bonn, Germany in 2011, this Conference aims to address the connected, but distinct, relationships between water, food, climate, energy, security, sustainability and development.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

  • Title: 150 characters
  • Authors: 300 characters
  • Presenter: 100 characters
  • Text: 5000 characters, including spaces

Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit abstracts for the Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate, and Energy Conference has been extended to:
November 1, 2013.

Instructions for Submission

In order to submit an abstract proposal for consideration, you must first Sign Up to Submit an Abstract. After signing up, you will automatically be guided through the abstract submission process.

After signing up, you may later return to the site to edit an existing abstract submission or submit additional abstracts by selecting Submit or Edit an Abstract from the menu.

Abstract Area Suggestions

Urban Challenges of the Nexus: Local and Global perspectives

  • What is the potential for urban agriculture and urban water reuse?
  • What are the challenges for urban energy and water supply under increased climate change?
  • What are policymakers doing to address the needs of cities of the future?
  • What are the drivers for sustainable urban development through a Nexus lens?
  • How can city utilities work together to reduce waste?
  • How well do cities ensure the protection of ecosystems and watersheds necessary for water supply?
  • How do we address Nexus pressures through urban planning?
  • What can be done to build resilience of the Nexus?

Nexus perspectives: Water, Energy and Climate

  • What role do dams play in the Nexus? Are we measuring impacts and benefits correctly?
  • Consumer behavior: What’s the tipping point for reducing water and energy use?
  • What can be done to reduce water use in solar provision?
  • Biofuels and water use: Complementary or competition?
  • What can be done to improve water and energy efficiency in irrigation?
  • Fracking: A challenge or opportunity for energy and water management?
  • How do rising US energy demands affect water supply?
  • What can we learn from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster?
  • What are practical solutions to increase water efficiency in energy production?
  • Are there different approaches to managing energy and water supplies in different regions?
  • Biofuels: How do we identify opportunities and manage risks in developing countries?

Nexus perspectives: Water, Food and Climate

  • How can we safely use wastewater in food production?
  • Irrigating from the sky: Is rainwater harvesting a viable solution to adaptable water resource management at a large scale?
  • How are women and girls influenced by resource depletion?
  • Population growth: Addressing pressures on water, food, and energy supplies.
  • What are the key challenges for soil retention and water use?
  • How can we minimize food and water waste at the consumer and producer level?
  • What are the implications of climate change on fisheries within inland waters?
  • Efficient agriculture: How can energy use be reduced?
  • What are the innovations in managing the agriculture, groundwater and energy Nexus?
  • Policy challenge: Sustaining US water aquifers while exporting food abroad?
  • Eating and drinking in the future: How do we provide for billions more people?
  • How can integrating sanitation and bio-waste management address local energy production and food security?
  • What are climate change’s implications for livestock and their need for water?
  • What are the drought preparedness and planning in the US to deal with lose of agriculture production?
  • What are the implications of the Climate-Water-Food-Energy Nexus to Africa?
  • What can be done to improve the water and energy efficiency for food production through irrigation?
  • Mega producers: Collaborating around the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

Entrepreneurial Environmentalism and Development

  • What are new innovations in monitoring water and energy use at the individual, household, corporate, and governmental levels?
  • Can start-ups “green” their business and address Nexus issues from the start?
  • How is mobile technology influencing consumer behavior change? Do apps like Nike’s sustainability app have any impact on what people buy?
  • Solar energy: In a climate-challenged world, can it move from boutique to mainstream?
  • CSAs and the local food movement: Do small business and farms have a big effect on energy use reduction?
  • How are entrepreneurs driving the renewable energy and water conversation and reality?
  • Venture capital: what is the pulse on investing in Nexus solutions?
  • How is grassroots advocacy changing the conversation around Nexus issues?
  • Microfinance and new businesses in developing countries: Is there a link?

Nexus Corporate Stewardship: How business is improving resource use

  • Public-private-government partnerships: Examples of collaboration for the Nexus approach.
  • How is biofuel production related to food production?
  • What can business do to reduce their water footprint in energy provision?
  • Business water risk: What are the implications for water policy and management?
  • How do companies begin to address Nexus issues as business strategy and not just Corporate Social Responsibility?
  • Who is leading the charge around improving corporate environmental practices?
  • What are the investment opportunities surrounding Nexus-related business?
  • How do we calculate financial risk related to water, food, and energy shortages?
  • What are emerging technologies to address Nexus issues?
  • What are the elements for successful business approaches to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus?
  • What are the industry and environmental implications for fracking and how can they be addressed?

Natural Resource Security for People: Water, Food and Energy

  • What are the security implications of climate change on water and food?
  • What role can Integrated Resource Management play in the issue of security and the Nexus?
  • What are the security implications of scarcity in global water?
  • Thirsty Crops – a security issue?
  • What are the transboundary challenges of the Nexus?
  • Are ecosystems the basis of water security?
  • Energy, resources, and the environment: New security parameters?
  • Rethinking human security in a Nexus world

Financing the Nexus: policy and practice

Development Bank Financing for the Nexus

  • Who’s paying: The role of multilateral banks in the Nexus?
  • Lessons for addressing climate and the Nexus – are there financial tradeoffs to be made?
  • What role could the development banks play in protecting financing for ecosystem services for the Nexus?
  • Drinking water as a priority use of water in the context of international investments in agriculture?

Foreign and Impact Investment for the Nexus

  • How can we grow impact investing?
  • What role can FDI play in Nexus funding?
  • How do we begin to ‘value’ the ecosystems that underpin our supply?
  • What are the elements that support the creating of public-private partnerships for the Nexus?

Organizing Framework Setting Out the Capital Market System Structure to Address Nexus Issues

  • How can we generate demand for appropriate behavior by financial institutions?
  • How can the markets better relate to sustainable development?
  • How can we increase fund managers’ influence on flow and cost of capital?
  • How can corporate and sovereign debt be utilized?

Role of Government and ODA in Financing and Regulating the Nexus

  • What can be done to regulate water, food and energy futures?
  • What could be done to set up a global framework for Nexus sustainability reporting?
  • What role can ODA play in Nexus funding?


If you have questions or concerns about the abstract submission process, please send an email to