Exorcising Malthusian ghosts: Vaccinating the Nexus to advance integrated water, energy and food resource resilience

Kemp, P. and Acuto, M. and Larcom, S. and Lumbroso, D. and Owen, M. (2022) Exorcising Malthusian ghosts: Vaccinating the Nexus to advance integrated water, energy and food resource resilience. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 4.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crsust.2021.100108


Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus interactions vary from seemingly negative and intractable wicked problems to opportunities for enhanced sustainability. The aim of this paper is to review the current state of understanding on WEF resource interactions and to provide a roadmap to enhance integrated resource management. A qualitative perspective based on expert insight and experience was supported by a more quantitative systematic analysis of the literature to define Nexus interactions, describe the nature of different challenges, and explore the factors that influence them. We found that Nexus challenges, and associated interactions (e.g. trade-offs and synergies), vary with complexity and spatial and temporal scale, and biases in research and culture act as barriers to progress. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to develop technical solutions employed through the use of orchestrated shocks (e.g. historic analogues, predictive modelling, experimentation, and scenario planning) to “Vaccinate the Nexus” and improve system resilience. To achieve this, multidisciplinary capability should be developed to solve interdisciplinary challenges, while protecting specialism. It is recognised that through embracing complexity and “Nexus (or Systems) Thinking”, future integration of resource management may be facilitated through holistic education, informed by interdisciplinary research, and ingrained in cross-sector policy and governance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access
Uncontrolled Keywords: WEF Nexus; Fisheries; Hydropower; Energy storage; Systemic shocks
Subjects: Energy > General
Water > General
Divisions: Energy
Depositing User: Helen Stevenson
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 15:26
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 15:30
URI: http://eprints.hrwallingford.com/id/eprint/1501

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