Project Summary

The REXUS project

EU Horizon 2020 Project

Rexus aims to develop and validate knowledge and tools to facilitate the transition from NEXUS Thinking to NEXUS Doing.

Awareness of the dynamic interdependencies between the Water, Energy and Food sectors has grown in recent years, along with the realisation that purely sectoral viewpoints cannot lead to sustainable solutions. Growing demand for resources create trade-offs, which are complicated by the impact of climate change.  The Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach is a powerful concept for addressing the interrelationships of resource systems and moving towards better coordination and utilisation of natural resources, taking into account existing trade-offs and moving towards synergies. However, progress in terms of incorporating Nexus thinking in practical policymaking has been slow.

The Rexus Project aims to close the gap between science and policy, moving from Nexus thinking to Nexus doing. It brings together the scientific tools and the integrated vision necessary to analyze real-world conditions, including frictions and climate risks. By employing Systems Dynamic Modelling, it is designing sustainable and actionable forward-looking solutions that increase resilience across sectors. These solutions, clearly visualised, will form the basis of forward-looking and participatory decision making.

Rexus theory of change:

Rexus builds on the premise that the shift from Nexus theory to practice will come through:

Bringing together the latest scientific data and developing models that can adequately account for real-world complexities.
Using the results to create visions and pathways for future scenarios, with clear options for policymakers.
Developing adapted, stakeholder-driven actionable solutions in specific local, regional and transboundary settings.
Explore the REXUS Work Packages.


5 Rexus Pilots

In 5 pilot cases in Europe and Latin America, Rexus will activate inclusive Nexus partnerships, in the form of Learning & Action Alliances. They will provide the testing ground for the integration of methods, including thematic biophysical modelling using Earth Observation, environmental cost valuations, natural capital and carbon accounting, as tools to explore case-specific challenges. In response to these challenges, Ecosystem-based Adaptation measures will be planned for these regional and transboundary systems. The aim is to develop shared visions and adaptive Nexus Management Strategies to inform policymaking.

Visit the REXUS pilots.


The Rexus Project will contribute to the following outcomes:

Developing more accurate evaluations of future demands for water, energy, food, through better sharing of knowledge and best practices in climate-water-energy-food nexus assessments.
Improving integrated water resources management and increase resilience to climate change.
Reducing the water risks for the energy sector and optimize market and trade solutions across the nexus.
Assessing the impacts of EU regulatory framework on a sustainable water-energy-food nexus.
Reducing institutional fragmentation whilst increasing cross water, energy, food collaboration and inclusive multi-stakeholder engagement (LAAs).
Strengthening EU role in international water issues and become a leading actor on water diplomacy.
A Consortium of 17 Partners

The Rexus Project is realized by a Consortium of 17 partners, bringing together a wealth of scientific knowledge and experience in Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems-Climate scientific analysis, stakeholder engagement and assistance to policymaking. See the full list of REXUS parters.

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