Word cloud of the complete data set of 649 papers, minimum frequency of occurring words = 100
The global demand for resources such as energy, land, or water is constantly increasing. It is therefore not surprising that research on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus has become a scientific as well as a general focus in recent years. A significant increase in publications since 2015 can be observed, and it can be expected that this trend will continue. A multilevel (macro, meso, and micro) perspective is essential, as the FEW nexus has cross-sectoral interdependencies. Several review studies on the WEF nexus can be found in the literature, in general, it can be concluded that the FEW nexus is a multi-disciplinary and complex topic. The studies examined identify essential fields of action for research, policy, and society. However, questions such as what are the main research fields at each level? Is it possible to divide the research into specific clusters? and do the clusters correlate with the levels, and what are the methods of modeling used in the clusters and levels? are still not fully discussed in the literature. An extensive literature review was conducted to get insight into the existing research areas. Especially in such fields as the WEF nexus, the amount of literature can get huge, and a human could get lost analyzing the literature manually. For that, we created word clouds and performed a cluster- and network-analysis to support the selection of most relevant papers for a detailed reading. In 2021, the most publications were published, with 173 publications, which corresponds to a share of 26.6 %. There has been a significant increase since 2015, and it can be expected that this trend will continue in the coming years. Most of the first authors come from the USA (25.4 %), followed by China with 22.4 %. From the word cloud and the top 20 words, which appear in the title and abstract, it can be deduced that the topic water is the most represented. However, the terms system, resource, model, study, change, development, and management also appear to be very important, which indicates the importance of a holistic approach to the topic. In total 9 clusters could be identified at the different levels. It can be seen that three clusters form well. For the others, a rather diffuse picture can be observed. In order to find out which topics are hidden behind the individual clusters, 6 publications from each cluster were subjected to a more detailed examination. With these steps, a number of 54 publications were identified for detailed consideration. The modeling approaches that are currently being applied in research can be classified into domain-specific tools (e. g. global water models, crop models or global climate models) and into more general tools to perform for example a life cycle analysis, spatial analysis using geographic information system, or system dynamics for a general understanding of the links between the domains. With the domain-specific tools, detailed research questions can be addressed to answer questions for a specific domain. However, these tools have the disadvantage that especially the links between the sectors food, energy, and water are not fully considered. Many implementations that are made today are at lowest level (micro) relate to bounded spatial areas and are derived from macro and meso level goals.
Braun, R., Hertweck, D., & Eicker, U. (2022). An approach to cluster the research field of the food-energy-water nexus to determine modeling capabilities at different levels using text mining and cluster analysis. Energy Nexus, 100101.
- Research Article // Environmental Policy to Develop a Conceptual Design for the Water–Energy–Food Nexus: A Case Study in Wadi-Dara on the Red Sea Coast, Egypt
- Research Article // Optimization of economic return from water using water-energy-food nexus approach: A case of Karnafuli Basin, Bangladesh
- Report // The United Nations World Water Development Report 2023: partnerships and cooperation for water
- Research Article // Assessing the effects of water resources allocation on the uncertainty propagation in the water–energy–food–society (WEFS) nexus