Publication // Decision-making and integrated assessment models of the water-energy-food nexus
By James Rising. Studying trade-offs in the long-term development of water-energy-food systems requires a new family of hydroeconomic optimization models. This article reviews the central considerations behind these models, highlighting the importance of water infrastructure, the foundations of a theory of decision-making, and the handling of uncertainty.
Integrated assessment models (IAMs), used in climate change policy research, provide insights that can support this development. In particular, IAM approaches to intertemporal decision-making and economic valuation can improve existing models. At the same time, IAMs have weaknesses identified elsewhere and can benefit from the development of hydroeconomic models, which have complementary strengths.
- Water-energy-food models have strengths that complement integrated assessment models.
- Different families of models represent characteristic spatial and temporal scales.
- A new family of hydroeconomic models are needed to address questions of long-term investment.
Water Security, Volume 9, April 2020