event 10 sept. 2021

Research article // Methods of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

By Aiko Endo, Kimberly Burnett, Pedcris M. Orencio, Terukazu Kumazawa, Christopher A. Wada, Akira Ishii, Izumi Tsurita and Makoto Taniguchi. This article presents the key methodological results from the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEFN) project by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). The objective of the project is to maximize human-environmental security (i.e., minimize risk) in the Asia-Pacific region by choosing policies and management structures that optimize WEF links, including water-energy (water for energy and energy for water) and water-food (water for food) connections.

Beppu Bay

Beppu Bay—Multiple overlay map. © Oita Prefectural Government


This paper focuses on a collection of methods that can be used to analyze the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus. We classify these methods as qualitative or quantitative for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approaches. The methods for interdisciplinary research approaches can be used to unify a collection of related variables, visualize the research problem, evaluate the issue, and simulate the system of interest. Qualitative methods are generally used to describe the nexus in the region of interest and include primary research methods such as Questionnaire Surveys, as well as secondary research methods such as Ontology Engineering and Integrated Maps. Quantitative methods for examining the nexus include Physical Models, Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), Integrated Indices, and Optimization Management Models. The authors discuss each of these methods in the following sections, along with accompanying case studies from research sites in Japan and the Philippines. Although the case studies are specific to two regions, these methods could be applicable to other areas, with appropriate calibration.


Water-energy-food nexus (WEF); integrated tools; integrated indices; benefit-cost analysis (BCA); optimization management models; integrated maps; ontology engineering; physical models; interdisciplinary; transdisciplinary


October 2015




Endo, A., Burnett, K., Orencio, P., Kumazawa, T., Wada, C., Ishii, A., Tsurita, I., et al. (2015). Methods of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Water, 7(10), 5806–5830. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w7105806


Methods of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

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- Nexus in the Asia-Pacific Region // Special Issue of "Journal of Hydrology - Regional Studies"

- Nexus in Asia // Introduction: Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Asia-Pacific Region

- Modelling // Describing and Visualizing a Water-Energy-Food Nexus System

- Semantic Analysis // Supporting Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research of Water-Energy-Food Nexus by Means of Ontology Engineering

- Special Issue // Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Large Asian River Basins

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