Fig. 5. Bibliometric research focus (Authors Research, 2021).
The technologies of the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR/Industry 4.0) have been a technological catalyst for all fields of human endeavor, permeating the water, energy, and food (WEF) nexus. However, there is no empirical evidence of the extent of applications and the permeability level in ensuring the three resources’ security. This study explored the relationship of the fourth industrial revolution technologies and the water, energy, and food nexus by evaluating the applications of the various technologies of 4IR on WEF nexus and examined the effect of 4IR on WEF nexus. The objectives were achieved using the qualitative methodology and bibliometric analysis of content analysis. The result showed that most fourth industrial revolution technologies had not been integrated with the WEF nexus. The result showed that only the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analytics had permeated the nexus, which shows that data of the resources will be the foundation of the nexus. The systematic collection, accuracy of data, and empirical analysis of data will determine the level of security of WEF nexus.
The qualitative results show that there are applications of the fourth industrial revolution technologies to the individual sectors of the nexus, birthing Water 4.0, Energy 4.0, and Food 4.0. The Bibliometric analysis result shows that the integration of the fourth industrial revolution with the WEF nexus will lead to cleaner production practices relating to the technological processes of water, energy, and food resources. These practices will ensure the environment's safety from WEF wastes and the water, energy, and food security in production processes. The empirical research and bibliometric analysis result, rooted in the concept of cleaner production, shows that the fourth industrial revolution affected the WEF nexus. The effects are; the birth of clean technologies & industrial applications, the catalyst for sustainability security of WEF nexus leveraging on life cycle thinking, enablement of technological transfer, enhancement of economic growth, and urban planning. The study concludes that the fourth industrial revolution technologies affect WEF nexus, ensuring the popularization of cleaner production strategies and processes of the resources during trade-offs and synergies. The study recommends the integration of a cleaner production concept in WEF processing. It should follow the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) and Technology acceptance theory (TAM) when applying 4IR technologies to the nexus of water, energy, and food resources, for their sustainable security.
David, L. O., Nwulu, N. I., Aigbavboa, C. O., & Adepoju, O. O. (2022). Integrating fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies into the water, energy & food nexus for sustainable security: A bibliometric analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 363, 132522.
- Nexus Blog // The Internet of Things as a Key Enabler for Quantifying the Water, Energy and Food Nexus
- Policy Brief // Promoting Human-Centric Technologies and the Urban Nexus to address the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Sustainability Challenges of Smart Cities
- Research Article // SDG Implementation through Technology? Governing Food-Water-Technology Nexus Challenges in Urban Agriculture