002 - Nexus in


Geographic knowledge and understanding

The water–food–energy “nexus” and how its complex interactions affect:

• national water security, including access to safe water

• national food security, including food availability

• national energy security, including energy pathways and geopolitical issues

Key Concepts

Switzerland is a place that is ‘water-rich’ and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a place that is ‘water-poor’. The availability of water can impact how food secure a place is. The UAE is situated in an area of the world that has shifting geopolitical power relationships and this can impact the possibilities for the importation of goods as well as national resource security. Switzerland is resource rich and geopolitically stable but that does not necessarily mean it can manage the possibilities of future changes any more successfully than the UAE.


To be able to describe and explain the national water, food and energy security situation for Switzerland the the United Arab Emirates.

Key Terminology

              • Economic water scarcity
              • Physical water scarcity
              • Food security
              • Energy security
              • Energy pathway
              • Desalinisation

Define the key terms above using the 'DP Geography Global Change' text book by Simon Oakes and the useful links below.

      • For food security watch the youtube clip from The Guardian newspaper and write down why people are still food insecure along with the definition.
      • After you have defined energy security, suggest reasons why it is so strongly linked to the key concept of power.

Useful Links

Activity One - Detailed Examples

As a geographer you are required to be able to view the geographic knowledge and understanding of the course by exploring different places. We are going to focus on looking at the food-water-energy nexus by comparing and contrasting Switzerland (as our host country) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE - because its interesting). To do this - yes - you will be using A3 sheets of paper and coloured pens!

                • Collect a piece of A3 plain paper
                • Copy an outline of the table below
                • Read the articles and fill in the boxes in your table
                • Write the similarities and differences in different colours so that they stand out
Nexus - Switzerland Versus UAE

Activity Two - Essay

You are now going to transfer the information you have collected into an exam style essay. Write an essay for the following question in no more than 700 words. You may want to plan your essay using the grid below but the final article will need to be HAND WRITTEN. Unfortunately your exams are not taken on the computer yet.

Compare and contrast the national resource security of two countries that you have studied. [10 marks]

How to write an essay graphic organizer.doc