event 29 Aug 2017

Nexus Assessment // Data for WEF Nexus Analysis: a Review of Issues

By Bruce A. McCarl, Yingqian Yang, Raghavan Srinivasan, Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos, Rabi H. Mohtar. The purpose of this review is to discuss challenges regarding assembly and use of water-energy-food (WEF) nexus data. WEF nexus analysis endeavors including nexus-wide-scoped data are relatively new although component data has been gathered for years. However, such data are not frequently comprehensive across all WEF sectors nor are they typically integrated into a WEF wide system database. Data systems covering the full set of WEF domains are evolving and there are challenges that must be faced to better support WEF system wide analysis.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books
Logo current sustainable renewable energy reports
Nexus data must facilitate stakeholder and analyst understanding of nexus scope, locations, production, consumption, diversion, return flows, and conveyance possibilities along with costs. There is important need for data that supports efforts to understand system boundaries, and spatial dimensions, along with the origin and fate of WEF commodities plus cross-sector interactions and interfaces. A wide, rather comprehensive set of data are necessary across the full WEF scope as the nexus approach is about widening perspectives to unexplored levels. Additionally, WEF nexus data systems need to reflect study region uniqueness incorporating appropriate activities with contents varying as focus shifts from place to place. Challenges arise in representing appropriate scope, mix of enterprises, stochastic variation in water supplies, WEF commodity production practices, WEF commodity market prices, and costs and returns from ongoing and potential future technological choices. Data challenges arise due to proprietary interests, scale differences in analysis, model requirements, representation of unexplored possibilities, assembly cost, projections of the future, representation of stochastic variation, quick query and retrieval systems, and integration with visualization. Comprehensive, innovative procedures are needed for data collection, storage/retrieval and inference in support of high quality WEF nexus analyses.


Springer website


July 2017


Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports, Topical Collection on Nexus of Food, Water, Energy

Cecilia Vey


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