In the study of the water–energy–food nexus (WEF nexus), the importance of the intensity and quantity index system has been widely recognized. In order to study the impact of WEF on the economy, this paper establishes an intensity index system and a quantity index system, taking account of the impact of environmental pollution. Using a DEA model and China’s provincial data from 2019, this paper calculated the efficiency of the WEF nexus with the developed intensity and quantity index systems. The results show that the efficiency is not high in areas with a high economic development level, and efficiency is not the lowest in areas with a relatively low economic development level. When considering environmental pollution, the efficiency of some provinces has increased significantly, indicating that the WEF nexus has not caused environmental damage and is conducive to sustainable economic development. In the two intensity index systems, the efficiency of the production system is significantly lower than that of the consumption system, indicating that there is a serious waste of cultivated land per capita. Compared with the intensity index system, the efficiency of the quantity index system is low, and the polarization is obvious. A high level of GDP does not mean a high level of economic development. There may be a low level of resource utilization technology or environmental pollution underlying it. It is unscientific to evaluate local economic development only by GDP. When evaluating the urban economy and national economy, we should conduct an overall study of WEF and reasonably allocate WEF resources, which will not only help to alleviate the current situation of resource shortage in various countries but also effectively promote the coordinated development of national and regional economies. At the same time, environmental protection should also be taken into account. Compared with the economic development model of developing the economy first and then solving environmental problems, developing and solving at the same time is more conducive to the sustainable development of the national economy.
Zhang, K., Shen, Z., & Sun, C. (2022). An Input–Output Analysis of the Water–Energy–Food Nexus Based on the Intensity and Quantity Index System—A Case Study of 30 Provinces in China. Energies, 15(10), 3591.
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